HICKORY, N.C. — It’s no secret that the HVAC industry — like many trades — is facing a deficit of skilled workers. The field requires a wealth of knowledge of all things HVAC, and proper training can be difficult to find — and costly. That’s why Shurtape introduced its Mission: HVAC, Educating for Success program in 2015, with the goal of arming students with the money and hands-on experience they need to succeed in the HVAC field.

The three students chosen this year are:

  • Blake Hodge from Ferris State University (Portland, Michigan). HVAC runs in Hodge’s blood — his family has been in the business for 50 years and counting. Blake hopes to continue his family’s legacy in the industry, but he also hopes to take his education a step further by pursuing a degree in HVAC engineering.
  • Brenan Vogt from Des Moines Area Community College (Urbandale, Iowa). Vogt is dedicated to working toward starting his own business. He recognizes HVAC work is in high demand and is excited to meet those needs.
  • Michael Clemons from Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny, Iowa). Clemons loves being hands-on, so the HVAC industry is perfect for him. He is intrigued by the growing industry and is excited to gain even more HVAC experience.

As in past program years, these three students will be given 10 HVAC-themed missions over the next few months. These missions will get them networking with pros in the field, putting their classroom learnings to the test, and more. And they’ll be rewarded for completion of all these challenges with $5,000 each to put toward the cost of their education.

To celebrate the program’s fifth year, Shurtape expanded it to include an HVAC educator, bringing a new point of view to the program. Like the students, Chris Walters, an instructor from the Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating LLC (Houston), will be given a series of missions to complete, providing insight from the educational side of the business. Upon completion of the tasks, Walters will also receive $5,000 to put toward the tools and technology needed for HVAC training. The

“We started Mission: HVAC to help bridge the skilled trades gap and combat some of the stereotypes of working in the HVAC field, proving that it takes hard work, dedication, and education to make it in the industry,” said Lisa Zierfuss, product manager for HVAC and building and construction tapes at Shurtape. “The addition of the educational side further enhances the program, providing a completely new perspective from those on the front line who are responsible for training the next generation of HVAC pros. We are excited to see this program enter its fifth year and can’t wait to see how our Mission: HVAC participants tackle the challenges ahead.”

Over the course of the next few months, Mission: HVAC participants will complete their challenges and post their findings on Shurtape’s tape education website, TapeUniversity.com.  

Publication date: 4/15/2019

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