Although students are on summer vacation, administrators from Oakland County Schools andThe Newshave not taken a break from planning and developing the new HVACR program for one of the Oakland Technical Centers in southeastern Michigan.

According to Mary Kaye Aukee, director of career focused education for Oakland Schools, the new program will be housed at the southeast campus, which is located in Royal Oak, MI. A space in the building has been designated for the program, and it only needs to be cleared out and hooked up with equipment.

This is only one of many details keeping Oakland County staff members busy. The school district is still actively looking for an instructor who will join the construction cluster at the southeast campus and specialize in heating and air conditioning education.

Aukee says that the school has started interviewing candidates for the position. No decision has been made yet, but Aukee says that the process has been going very well.

These issues and several more will be discussed when The News meets again with school administrators in the beginning of August. The News will be speaking with Aukee and the school’s construction consultant, John Saltzgaber. Saltzgaber is in charge of communications and marketing for Oakland School’s construction departments.

The News will discuss with Saltzgaber the best method to get the word out on the new HVACR program and how to create interest among prospective students. A number of contractors in the area have expressed their support for a program that would help in developing future technicians. But before the school district can help these contractors, it must find a way to fill seats in the new program. The goal will be to inform students, their parents, and the surrounding community about the benefits of a career in the HVACR industry.

Many young people are looking for an alternative to the traditional career path and may not be aware of the opportunities available in the HVACR industry. At the same time, many in the community may have an unclear picture of the HVACR profession.

When The News meets with Saltzgaber and Aukee, the goal will be to devise a number of strategies to inform the public and students about the new opportunity that will be available through the Oakland Technical Center.

A few strategies that The News is considering involve making a presence in the Oakland County school system and presenting career opportunities in the HVACR industry to current high school students. The News staff and local contractors are willing to visit students in the classroom and explain to them what the industry is all about, what it takes to succeed in the industry, and the advantages and benefits of pursuing an HVACR career.

Publication date: 07/22/2002