FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Adding to its toolbox of targeted solutions to address the critical worker shortage facing the HVAC and plumbing industries, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation recently debuted an HVAC & plumbing pre-apprenticeship course, giving potential workers an opportunity to learn about the day-to-day aspects of the trades before beginning a longer-term apprentice program and career.

Available online, prospective apprentices can take the course at their convenience, using six thematically focused modules that offer an introduction to the trades plus other important aspects of working in the industry, such as basic math skills, tools, safety, and construction drawings.

“This broad introductory program is the perfect way for potential employees to get a glimpse of how they can succeed in our industry,” says Merry Beth Hall, director of apprentice and journeyman training, PHCC Educational Foundation.

Offering this new course gives the foundation a chance to work with employment centers, schools, and contractors to provide potential industry workers with a realistic view of the opportunities in the industry and the skills those workers need, Hall added. For an employer, taking on an apprentice is a big investment in that individual’s future. That financial commitment, the foundation believes, is best made when the prospective apprentice understands the expectations and has the fundamental knowledge and skills for the trade.

The foundation worked closely with many volunteers and organizations dedicated to apprentice and journeyman training to develop the course, including Dr. Adam Manley from Western Michigan University, an instructional leader in career and technical education, as well as Modern Plumbing Industries in Winter Springs, Florida, and Thornton & Grooms Inc. in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

“I cannot imagine a better tool to be available for our members,” said PHCC member Laurie Crigler of L&D Associates in Aroda, Virginia, after previewing the course. “This is a great tool not only for those applying for jobs who say they have a certain level of expertise, but for anyone actually considering entering the apprenticeship program. It gives a great overview of what they should expect to learn in apprenticeship.”

To register for the online course, visit the HVAC & plumbing pre-apprenticeship course web page at http://bit.ly/PHCC-Pre-Appreprentice for an enrollment form. Once registered, enrollees may take the course at their convenience.

Publication date: 7/25/2016 

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