HICKORY, N.C. — From learning the theory behind heating and air conditioning to participating in labs that teach troubleshooting skills, you can’t beat the hands-on training and experience that comes from technical education. Having that certificate or degree provides an advantage in the HVAC workforce, so many of those aspiring to join the field put in the time to get a quality education, but the costs can be high.

So, in 2015, Shurtape Technologies LLC, a producer of pressure-sensitive tapes, set out on a mission to educate for success through its Mission: HVAC program. Through this program, three students from Athens Technical College, Athens, Georgia, embarked on a journey of learning and discovery. Over the course of 10 months, they received HVAC-themed missions, which challenged them to put their classroom learning and real-life experiences into action and then report their findings via blog posts on Shurtape.com. 

Now, Shurtape has launched its second year of the Mission: HVAC program with three new students, selected among applicants from technical schools nationwide. Like their predecessors, they will receive 10 HVAC-themed missions that will require them to conduct research, interview HVAC pros and meet with industry experts, then compile that knowledge into blog posts. They will be rewarded for their completion of all 10 missions with $5,000 to put toward the cost of their education.

Meet the 2016 Mission: HVAC Students 

Derick Chandler
School: Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus, Indiana
Fun Fact: Chandler decided to pursue a career in the trades as he was preparing to be honorably discharged after serving eight years in the Navy. It was his chief in the Navy who pushed him to HVAC. 

Jacob Hall
School: Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, North Carolina
Fun Fact: Hall has an extensive career in construction, including masonry, general carpentry, timber framing, log building, drafting and heavy equipment, but he’s decided to focus on HVAC because it provides him with the ability to become a recognized, licensed tradesman. 

Michael Dermer
School: Athens Technical College, Athens, Georgia
Fun Fact: Dermer changed careers after 28 years in the restaurant field, which allowed him to start his own company and spend time with his children. He’s decided to learn a totally new field and he hopes he can help others by using his education.

Visit Shurtape.com/Blog to follow the journeys of Chandler, Hall and Ermer. For more information about Shurtape’s HVAC solutions, including the company’s line of foil, film and composite tapes, visit Shurtape.com.