The HVACR industry is faced with a labor shortage, rapidly changing technology, and the emerging challenge of building electrification. With that in mind, Daikin, a manufacturer of HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) equipment, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), a provider of skilled labor and education, are joining forces to tackle these challenges.

The MSCA (Mechanical Service Contractors Association) is an organization for HVACR contractors, providing education, marketing, and labor/management services to assure its contractor members deliver quality performance, value, and expertise for all building system needs. The UA provides service technicians to MSCA contractors to perform service, maintenance, replacement, retrofit, and repair work, resulting in enhanced reliability, tenant satisfaction, and efficiency. The MSCA has more than 1,400 member companies and is a subsidiary of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA).

On October 25, 2022, a new training lab was opened for business at the Steamfitters Technology Center in Harmony, Pennsylvania. This lab is outfitted with the latest residential and commercial VRV products that are available from Daikin and will serve as the east coast training hub for UA instructors. Steamfitters Local 449 Service Training Director Brad Tisdale described this partnership as “the perfect marriage.”

“Daikin is the number-one HVACR brand in the world, and the UA is the number-one provider of skilled labor," Tisdale added.

UA instructors from throughout the country will travel to this location to become qualified Daikin instructors. They will be able to return home and offer in-house, factory-authorized training to MSCA contractors on the VRV product line. This will create a national pool of skilled labor to install and service these systems efficiently — the right way, the first time.

“The UA has always strived to provide the best trained workforce in all aspects of the piping industry, and this partnership will ensure that this goal continues to be a reality well into the future,” explained UA Training Specialist Robert Vilches.

Daikin Vice President of Technical Services Stuart Werner attended the grand opening of the new Daikin Lab.

“This is the result of a collaborative effort between the UA, Daikin Comfort Technologies, HAVTECH, and Johnstone/Grimme. Jeff Bledsoe from Daikin and Brian Kelly from the UA cut the ribbon on behalf of all those involved in this effort. Technical training is paramount in providing a properly installed system by our mechanical contractors and dealers,” Werner explained.

UA Director of HVACR Services Brian Kelly works with Daikin America to support Daikin’s branch offices located in many cities throughout the country. After Brian saw this training commitment from one of the UA strategic partners, he commented, “Daikin’s foresight and partnership with the UA and the UA’s Education and Training Department is brilliant and well-timed. They recognize that there is a growing need for a well-trained and skilled workforce to address the everchanging needs of the HVACR Industry, and they are taking the necessary steps to address and adapt to these future changes now.”

A second lab, located at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2023, and will serve as the west coast training hub for UA instructors.