HVAC students from Arkansas, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, Minnesota and British Columbia were the winners of this year’s Retool Your Future contest from Hilmor.

An estimated 550 HVAC construction students wrote 250-word essays to enter the contest. The six winners received a $5,000 scholarship, an HVAC market tool kit from Hilmor and a trip the 2017 AHR Expo in Las Vegas.

The winners’ trade schools received a Himor-branded green merchandising wall.

“It’s important to build a pipeline of talent for skilled trades like HVACR,” said Andrea Halpin, a senior marketing manager at Hilmor. “We’re pleased to support these students as they begin their new careers.”

The winners are:

•Bradley Braziel, a 50-year-old who drives more than 450 miles every week to HVAC classes. He is to graduate in December.

•Kassie Garland, an apprentice for Robinson Realty Solutions in Collinsville, Illinois. She is scheduled to graduate from Vatterott College in Fairview Heights, Illinois, in November. Garland, 35, is the only female in her classes. She is a former paraprofessional special education teacher.

•Timothy Kauffman is to earn his associate degree in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration from Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, Virginia, after finishing an apprenticeship program in spring 2018. The 44-year-old also works 56 hours a week with a municipal fire department.

•Ningkang “Ryan” Jiang will complete a refrigeration foundation program from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby, British Columbia, in June.

•Mark Sanders will graduate in May 2018 from Northeast State Community College in Blountville, Tennessee. His transition to HVAC came after the plant where he worked was closed, costing the 46-year-old his job of 17 years. He hopes to start his own HVAC company.

•Nate Whiteford’s father and three brothers are already HVAC technicians. Whiteford is enrolled at North Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.