ARLINGTON, VA — Ways to attract skilled technicians into the hvacr industry was the topic of the Task Force on Recruitment in mid-January at the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI). Seven ARI volunteers explored ways to improve technician recruitment and promote career opportunities in the industry.

“There is a crucial need to bring an estimated 20,000 technicians into our industry each year,” said Tom Bettcher, chairman of the Task Force, who also chairs ARI’s Education Committee.

Other associations have expressed support for an industry-wide effort.

“Several organizations will be defining their roles shortly,” said Tom Mikulina, chairman of the Task Force Subcommittee on Group Awareness.

“If we are successful in increasing the number of technicians entering our industry, it will be because of a joint industry-wide effort,” he said.

The Task Force reviewed initiatives that will impact industry career awareness. These included developing a pilot middle and high school program, accreditation for vocational schools, support for the Skilled Workforce Enhancement Act, expansion of the ARI equipment donation program, and development of an industry career Web site.