A manager in the service department of a major mechanical contractor is dealing with the day-to-day challenges and enjoying it.
A teacher is guiding students in the basics of HVACR and is deriving satisfaction.
Those are three diverse individuals in the industry, but all have something in common. At one time, they were students of Michael Mutarelli, who teaches at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) in Schnecksville, Pa. Mutarelli received honorable mention honors in the 2004 Instructor of the Year contest sponsored by The News and ARI.
"Student success after they finish here is what I consider my biggest accomplishment as an instructor," he said.
Along the way there is a 150-hour paid internship with a local contractor that yields two credits. Students are also required to take the Industry Competency Exam (ICE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification test. They are also student members of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
Upgrading facilities is constantly on Mutarelli's mind. The HVACR program recently relocated to a new tech center. There is a close relationship with a local HVAC consortium as well as an advisory committee. Recently, LCCC was awarded a grant to develop training to prepare individuals to take North American Technician Excellence (NATE) exams.
"We then cook the dogs and have a little picnic at the end of the lab."
Mutarelli brings extensive training and experience to teaching. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from Temple University and has started work on a master's degree in business administration. He has a master plumber's certification from nearby Allentown. He is NATE certified, is a member of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, and has certifications from a number of factory training schools.
As one of his students noted, "He cares about his students and will try to help them succeed both personally and professionally. He teaches with a passion I have not observed in other teachers. This makes his classes interesting. When I look back at the two semesters he has taught me, I realize I've learned a lot about this trade."
Publication date: 11/08/2004