TROY, Mich. — The NEWS is now accepting nominations for its 17th annual Best Instructor and fourth annual Best Trainer contests.

The goal of the contests is to recognize and reward HVACR instructors and trainers who have dedicated their careers to enriching the lives of students. The nomination process is open to anyone who has seen firsthand the work an instructor or trainer has done to better the industry.

Nominees for the Best Instructor category should teach at a career or technical school, a community college, an apprenticeship program, or an adult education program. Nominees for the Best Trainer category should be employed by manufacturers or distributors. Seminar speakers are ineligible.

Last year, The NEWS and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors’ Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation recognized Phil Wilbur, a chiller team technical leader for Johnson Controls Inc. by day and an apprenticeship instructor at UA Local 447’s Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Training Center by night, as 2015 Best Instructor winner; John Barba, director of training for Taco Comfort Solutions, was named The NEWS’ 2015 Best Trainer.

Wilbur has not only built a career in HVACR — he’s helped many others build theirs, too. “It’s rewarding when I step back and look at the program,” he said. “I started it, but a lot of other people have made it really good. It’s a nice thing to see it done well, and I’m lucky to work with some awesome instructors.”

The nomination deadline is July 1. Winners will be announced in September. For more information or to make a nomination, visit

Publication date: 4/18/2016

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