Introduction to HVACR Through Conventions

The leadership of the local southeast Pennsylvania [SEPA] chapter of RETA [Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association] took matters into their own hands in regards to the need to replace our aging workforce and finding potential employees to meet current needs.

Since RETA’s national convention was being held in our own backyard, the SEPA chapter of RETA decided they would pay the cost for all the HVACR students of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology to attend training sessions and visit the exhibition floor. I knew that our students would get a very special opportunity at networking with major players of our industry and gain valuable insight into the opportunities this trade provides.

As you well know, it is sometimes hard to get young people excited about the unknown, and my students were no exception when I told them this was a required field trip. But I am very pleased to report that every one of them came back excited and very thankful for the opportunity that the local chapter provided them this opportunity. I think this same scenario should be repeated at every conference our industry has.

If we are going to get young people interested in our trade, then we need to get them exposed to the equipment and technology we use. What we need to realize is that every day the youth of our nation are exposed to the glamour of hot cars, slick choppers as seen on MTV and cable TV and, of course, the overexposure to computers and computer games. So when they come to our technical colleges, they enter the programs they think are hot and don’t realize there are other exciting career opportunities.

They will never get the opportunity to see our industry on display as it is during these exhibitions and conferences unless this industry begins to sacrifice the time and money to bring in these students to these major events.

Steve Phyillaier
Associate Professor, HVAC/R
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
Lancaster Pa.

Contractors Need to Do the Right Thing

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to John R. Hall’s column, “Putting Yourself in Harm’s Way,” Sept. 15.]

No matter what your capacity, delivering, servicing, selling, visiting etc., your first obligation to all who might enter a dangerous situation is to inform the appropriate authority, whether it be about drugs, vicious dogs, or a code violation. It’s not that hard. Just do the right thing. Our first order of business is to take care of each other.

Mark Eastburn
Eastburn HVACR
Eureka Springs, Ark.

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Publication date:10/20/2008