The PHCC is encouraging HVAC construction students to enter its third annual apprentice contest.

The event will take place during the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association’s annual conference, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Hollywood, Fla.

Fifteen apprentices will compete in the categories of brazing, refrigerant recovery and identification, electrical troubleshooting, electrical skills and wiring, and written knowledge.

2014 winner Leroy Friend, an HVAC construction technician with Shapiro & Duncan in Rockville, Md., returned to his workplace with more than $4,000 worth of new tools.

“I was apprehensive at first, but I went ahead and did it,” he said, “and I’m glad I did. I came back with tons of confidence, and that’s helped me a lot with my job.”

Friend’s prize package included refrigeration gauges, hand tools, a drill, an infrared thermometer, a gas detection kit, a multimeter, and a telescopic camera.

Shapiro & Duncan supervisor Don Jenkins said the new products really help Friend be more productive.

“Knowledge is great, but it’s only as good as the tools that you use,” he said. “With his new tools and what he already had on his truck, there’s really nothing he can’t do.”

Information on the contest is available at this website