MT. LAUREL, N.J. - The Eastern Heating and Cooling Council announced that it will award the winner of the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Certified Technician Competition with an additional prize (to be announced). The competition will take place in St. Louis, Sept. 15, 2004; corporate sponsors include International Service Leadership and Lennox Industries.

This year's finalists were chosen from the 10,000-plus techs that passed a NATE exam between June 1, 2003, and May 30, 2004. In addition, each finalist had to be an eligible high scorer from his or her region.

Each contestant has 20 minutes to correctly diagnose a problem on a unit with a rigged problem or on a simulator. The contestant with the most correct answers and best overall time is the winner.

Points are awarded for correct answers; the quickest overall time is used to break ties, NATE explained. In 2000, for example, three contestants had perfect scores. Their finishing times were separated by less than 15 seconds.

Delegates from seven regions are competing this year, including those from Northeast Area 1: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Publication date: 07/19/2004