I recently received an email that said Snips had won an award for excellence in our industry. Great! We’re being recognized for the contributions we bring to the HVAC and sheet metal industry through our coverage, except I don’t recall entering a competition for such an honor. 

As it turned out, it was likely part of a very common scam known as vanity awards. This type of “honor” has been targeting businesses for more than 100 years. Email has only made it easier to find victims. The scam works like this: A business receives notice that they have been selected as a top industry representative, whether in publishing, manufacturing or marketing. The email includes a link to a press release and a digital photograph of a plaque or trophy the business is free to post on its website. For another $150-$200, the business association handing out the award, which typically says it represents a city, territory or state, will provide a physical trophy that you can show in your office or lobby. The association’s name usually sounds legitimate, if vague: “The Metro Business Alliance” or a similar name that mentions your city or state.

Don’t fall for it. The award is meaningless and almost every company has “won,” especially if they’ve purchased the plaque or trophy in the past. A quick Google search shows many companies of all sizes have fallen for it. They send out press releases or post the news on their website, unaware that their competitors probably have won the same prize. Some even buy the plaque and post pictures of it on their Facebook page. A real chamber of commerce does not send out unsolicited awards or make a company pay for a prize. Everyone wants to be recognized for their work, but buying a vanity trophy isn’t the way to get it.


Letter was offensive  

In the June 2017 edition, there was a letter to the editor (“More glass ceilings shattered”) which stated, “If this was the South, it would probably be different. They’re a little behind out there.”

Congratulations. By including this letter you have managed to simultaneously offend every single HVAC company in the Southeastern United States. Great work.

I think it’s great that women have come this far in our society, but don’t you think it’s just a little detrimental to the movement to have a single woman slam an entire geographic area with a single sentence?

William L. Yerkes

Pleasant Air Heating & Cooling Inc.

Parkersburg, West Virginia

Generation fight is not new  

I have read for some time now that the trades are losing the battle for millennial workers as if this were some new crisis looming on the horizon. The fact is millennials are not special; we’re losing the battle for those workers just like we lost the battle for Generation X. And at this rate will lose the battle for Generation Z or whatever is next.

We tend to forget how we got here. There was a huge push to get young people to go to college instead of the trades. There were studies that showed how much more the average college graduate made than everyone else. More and more people entered college and fewer entered the trades.

We do, however, have an opportunity. Many people entering college have no idea what kind of work they want to do. We need to show the next generations that the trades are a good way to make a living. We need to get academia to stop looking down their noses at us. And we need to become more involved in our schools. Are enough of us going to get outside of our comfort zones and promote the trades?

James B. Hughes, technical training manager

Service Experts Heating and Air Conditioning

St. Louis