How are you helping recruit and build the next generation of HVACR service technicians? It is up to us, the people who are currently in this business, to do so.

Yes, we need help from high school guidance counselors, out-placement services and military dischargers, but the brunt of the recruiting needs to come from us — the people who make a living from the industry.

I am a second-generation service technician who worked his way up through the different posts and eventually launched a commercial service company. I learned of this great industry through working with my father and his peers, sweeping the pipe fab shop floor, loading sheet metal trailers, and doing whatever else was needed. The high-caliber people that I met along the way are what this industry is built upon and that carry it forward today.

We send our young men and women to school, either union apprenticeship or a trade school, to learn the fundamentals. But in order to succeed, they must have on-the-job exposure. They must also have someone mentoring them as they move forward. Those mentors include involved owners and managers who truly care about our trade and where it is heading.

There are many naysayers about the up-and-coming generation of young people. History proves the older generation has always said this about the next generation. Yet I still personally find — and our company finds — good people with solid character.

We help them move into learning positions and eventually help them develop into the strong service technicians that we must have to serve our clients needs

Good people attract other good people. If you assemble a group of people of high character and strong morals, you will be rewarded by others with similar values wanting to join you and your company.

Without a doubt, it will take extra time and more money versus what we have traditionally spent on training and coaching. With many (if not all) OEMs developing their niche controls and logic, factory training is a must if you wish to compete in the new age of any facet of the HVAC industry.

Choose to make a difference. Choose to make the investment in our future, find young people, and help them get and stay on the right road toward becoming a star technician. It’s good business, and it’s the right thing to do.