If you were to paint a picture of the HVACR industry today, you’d need many shades of gray.

The average technician is around 56 years old. And, while the baby boomer generation has a lot to offer in regards to knowledge, work ethic, and experience, they aren’t going to be turning wrenches forever. In fact, approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. For an industry that relies heavily on an aging workforce, this is not a promising statistic.

A Bright Future

While HVACR certainly has its fair share of legends, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the industry boasts a wealth of young talent as well.

For example, as director of commercial products at Kansas City, Missouri-based cfm Distributors, Brad Telker has helped grow the company’s commercial gross sales margins by nearly double digits in less than two years. In January, he was promoted to vice president of commercial sales at cfm.

Chuck Hitchcock, branch manager for American Metals Supply Co. Inc., helped launch a new location in Indianapolis. In less than six years, the branch has exceeded eight-figure sales. Hitchcock now serves as vice president of operations at American Metals Supply Co.

Jose “Sam” Rodriguez, branch manager for H.M. Sweeny Co. in Landover, Maryland, tripled his branch’s sales in three years.

What do these individuals have in common? Each was featured in Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International’s (HARDI’s) inaugural Top 40 Under 40 contest, which was unveiled in July 2015.

HARDI, along with Distribution Center magazine, is aiming to put HVACR distribution’s young trailblazers on a pedestal yet again through the HARDI 2018 Top 40 Under 40.

Do you have young employees who are excelling in all aspects of the job? Do they figure to play integral roles in the future of your company? Show them your appreciation by nominating them for this honor. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/DC-HARDI40.

Recruiting More Workers

Filling the qualified worker shortage is going to take all hands on deck. I’m aiming to use this magazine as a vehicle to help spread awareness. On Page 26, we examine how three distributors are going above and beyond to attract new talent.

While some high school students wake up every day dreaming of rebuilding automobile engines, very few fawn over refrigeration. It’s our responsibility to show them the opportunities this wonderful industry affords.

I hope you’re enjoying the new-look Distribution Center magazine. Feel free to contact me at any time with your comments or suggestions.