It Takes A Team Effort To Improve The Industry

I'm writing in regard to Mark Skaer's editorial "Father Time Has His Eye On This Industry," in the Jan. 24 issue ofThe News.

I read to try to reduce the stress of the day, and what a day. I wouldn't blame any young person for avoiding a service trade - low wages, bad hours, poor working conditions, body wear and tear, and lack of respect by others.

These issues and others can be addressed, but a team effort is needed. I'm talking owner, manager, educator, manufacturer, and wholesaler.

First, contractors must raise wages to that equal to other professionals, e.g., teachers, accountants, engineers, and lawyers. Reasonable hours must be set, say no more than 10 hours a day, and no less than 7, an average of 2,000 hours a year.

Second, educators must stop telling teenagers that if you create, build, repair, or in any way get soiled, then your life isn't worth as much as, say, someone who moves papers from one pile to another or totals others' labor.

Third, manufacturers must start requiring professionalism. NATE seems to be a wonderful place to start - no NATE certification, no warranty claim.

Fourth, wholesalers should treat this profession as a profession. Don't sell to general contractors, end users, or others who don't install such equipment or materials as professionals.

Instead of everyone being treated as a community, treat each as the qualified professional they are. As this is accomplished, our industry will move out of the Stone Age, where we've been stuck since as long as I can remember, to the 21st century. We can do it, but it will take a combined effort to elevate the HVACR professional from being seen as someone that wasn't smart enough to go to college.

Andrew M. Tack
Head Service Tech/Comfort Consultant
MacKinney Mechanical
Shippenville, Pa.

Ex-Convicts And Residential Work

The letter from Mr. Singer at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in the Jan. 10, 2005 issue is very inspiring. Mr. Singer should be commended for his ambition to learn a trade and rejoin society with the desire to better himself. I do have some advice for Mr. Singer. He needs to check the laws in the state where he wishes to work and make sure he can do service work in people's homes.

I live in Texas, and a law was recently passed that caused a lot of good technicians to lose their jobs. In the state of Texas, you cannot go into someone's home if you have been convicted of certain crimes. I know a couple people who cannot do service work anymore due to something that happened 25 years ago. There is no type of grandfather clause for these guys. I do not understand why they teach these trades in prison if a person cannot get a job in that field when they are released.

I do wish Mr. Singer the best of luck when he is released.

Tim Miller
Project Manager
T L Mechanical, Inc.
Corpus Christi, Texas

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Publication date: 02/14/2005