Show Them This Is the Best Industry in the World

As I read the letter “No Wonder There’s a Shortage of New Techs” in the April 9, 2007 issue, I took great offense with the writer’s view.

I’m a contractor in the Virgin Islands who came from Rhode Island, where it is extremely tough to get a trade license. When I started in this trade, I took a large cut in weekly earnings and had to work all those hours - weekends and holidays - McCoy mentioned. I am very proud of what I have obtained by very hard work and intense learning. This is what McCoy writes of as the process of learning this trade, which, unlike the other trades, is a highly technical trade and requires very technical people.

We must, as the contractors before us did, find young men and women who want to work in our trade and train them painstakingly. We must allow these same men and women the time to educate themselves in trade schools as we did. We must lift our trade to the level of respect it deserves. It is our responsibility as the contractors of today to insist on very strict codes and requirements for our trade.

Yes, I have gone and I am still going through the same pains McCoy mentions. I hold classes for my men and women. I send them to classes that will benefit them. I do not let them go out and work in the field just for the reason of sending someone to my client. This is a wonderful and highly rewarding field, and we need highly skilled men and women to carry it on.

In the area of wages, I have been paid very well over my 25-plus years in the trade. I pay my people as I was paid. As a contractor, I can afford to give my men and women all the benefits that are awarded in any other field out there.

We, the experienced and skilled people of the refrigeration business, need to say to the young men and women out there looking for a field to apply themselves to, “Look no further. We are refrigeration men and women, and this is the best trade with the highest rate of wage in the world.”

Timmy Smith
Tradeswinds Mechanical Services Inc.
St. Thomas/St. John U.S.V.I.

Technicians Today Are Looking for More

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Roy McCoy’s letter “No Wonder There’s a Shortage of New Techs,” April 9.]

Roy McCoy may be off by five years. A lot of us wanted to retire at 55 because everything [including parts] is falling apart now.

The tech school grads are smart like McCoy said, but they can’t pipe. It takes a long time to learn. I think the good ones are still in the military. People are going to have to open their eyes to the fact that ours is an applied science and we are just trying to make life more pleasant and healthy for them.

Dean F. Slowik
Slowik Refrigeration
Benton Harbor, Mich.

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Publication date:05/28/2007