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Examine thoroughly the profiles of students that earned scholarships awarded by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC) Education Foundation and its industry partners. Believe it or not, more than $100,000 in scholarships was handed out this year, as the recipients were announced late last month at Network ’07 in Anaheim, Calif.

The PHCC Educational Foundation - a partnership of contractors, manufacturers, and wholesalers - serves the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by, as it states, “preparing contractors and their employees to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace.” In its 20-year history, the foundation has awarded scholarships to benefit the future of the profession totaling $1.45 million.

That’s a lot of money.

At the same time, that’s a lot of money awarded to a lot of people who are obviously interested in joining the HVACR ranks in one way, shape, or form. It’s why each applied for a scholarship in the first place. The funding helps each reach his/her goal.

For those business owners who want to scrutinize potentially new employees, go to the listing of the 2007 winners located (By the way, students interested in gaining a scholarship are encouraged to foundation for application information.)

Just to let you know, other associations, as well as manufacturers and distributors, offer scholarships. Why not examine the listed winners from each when in search of an employee? Chances are, you will be selecting the cream of the crop.

Of course, if you have pulled from the ranks of the scholarship winners, and the move has worked out for you – or, maybe it has not -- post your experiences here accordingly. All who read this blog would like to know.