Sixteen students from four Ontario secondary schools competed in the Secondary School Student Challenge at the Skills Center exhibit during CMX/CIPHEX 2006. The challenge provided students currently enrolled in a related secondary school technical program with the opportunity to showcase their HVAC proficiency, including: practical applications; theoretical understanding; basic technical knowledge; as well as mock interviews with potential employers. First place winner Josh Pond, Elmira District Secondary School, won an iPod. Second and third place went to Jonathan Forwell and Menno Wicher, respectively, Elmira District Secondary School.

The Post-Secondary Heating System Technician Competition pitted post-secondary students from across the province in competition. Some of the industry's best young technicians competed in a test of practical skills in electrical and mechanical troubleshooting, system connection, combustion, service, and maintenance. The hands-on portion of the competition was supplemented by a written theoretical test and a job interview to determine the overall provincial winner. Nick D'Alessandro, Mohawk College, won the gold medal; Cory Hoffer, Mohawk College, won the silver medal; and Don Faithful, George Brown College, won the bronze medal.

A new event, the Master's Fun Challenge, was introduced. This event pitted experienced technicians already working in the industry against other master technicians as they raced against the clock to troubleshoot and identify specific gas furnace faults. Participants were also required to demonstrate their experience and memories as they identified special artifacts sourced from the HVACR Heritage Center Canada Collection. Tim Lukacs, Lukacs Plumbing and Heating, North Bay, Ontario, was named grand master for the overall event.

Publication date: 05/08/2006