HICKORY, N.C. — There are many advantages to getting a technical education in the HVAC industry — students learn the science behind heating and cooling systems, how to troubleshoot and correct problems, and what to expect on the jobsite, among other critical lessons. Earning that degree or certification can help those pursuing a career in the HVAC trades stand out from the rest, but educational costs can quickly add up.

In 2015, Shurtape Technologies LLC addressed this problem by starting its Mission: HVAC Educating for Success program. The participants of this inaugural program were three students from Athens Technical College in Athens, Georgia, who had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into their future careers. Throughout the 10 months of the program, they were given monthly HVAC-themed missions that were designed to challenge them to apply their classroom knowledge and think critically, then share their findings through blog posts on Shurtape’s educational website, TapeUniversity.com.

This year, Shurtape has launched its Mission: HVAC program for the third year with three new students, selected among applicants from technical schools nationwide. Just as the students from previous years, they will receive 10 HVAC-themed missions that will challenge them to conduct research, network with HVAC professionals, and interview experts in the field. Their findings will then be compiled and shared in the form of blog posts. In addition to gaining industry knowledge, each student who completes all 10 missions will be rewarded with $5,000 to put toward the cost of their education and position them for success as they enter the workforce.


Aaron Rademacher, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan — Aaron grew up on construction sites — his father is an electrician and his grandfather, a foreman over construction crews. Rademacher has a long track record of leadership roles, from football team captain to volunteering at his church, and he decided to go into the HVAC field because he loves serving others and being a part of a family oriented business.

Gustavo Nunez, San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas — Nunez served for over nine years in the U.S. Army and aspires to open his own HVAC business that will focus on hiring veterans from all branches of service. He is passionate about serving others and is excited to pursue his dream of owning his own business.

Chris Caldwell, Southern Union State Community College, Opelika, Alabama — Caldwell got his start as a mechanic at a bowling alley when he was just 14 years old. His experience as a mechanic helped him get a job in HVAC, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to pursue a technical education to advance in the company, aspiring to meet his goal of becoming a traveling technician.

“We are proud of the students who have completed Mission: HVAC during the program’s first two years and are excited to see what new perspectives and experiences this year’s students bring to the table,” said Glenn Walter, product marketing manager for building and construction tapes at Shurtape. “This program was created to address the stigma around skilled trades and to shed light on the training and dedication required to become an HVAC professional. Many of today’s HVAC professionals are nearing retirement age, and with replacements becoming increasingly difficult to find, it is essential to train new professionals in this rewarding field. We also hope to take off some of the financial burden of earning a technical education for these students as they grow in their knowledge of the industry and gain experience that will be paramount to their success in the workforce.”

For more information, visit Shurtape.com.

Publication date: 4/18/2017