Associations form a North American coalition to enhance HVAC&R training

By Klara Skačanová, Jul 24, 2012, 14:03 2 minute reading

Eight associations from the United States and Canada have formed the HVAC&R Workforce Development Foundation to enhance the quality of the education and training, raise awareness of the industry and inspire young people to join the heating and refrigeration workforce.

“This foundation is representative of the industry’s effort to promote education, projects, and partnerships that will attract committed and skilled employees to the industry,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

Eight coalition members and key objectives

The members of the coalition include:

  • Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)
  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
  • Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)
  • Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI)
  • Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC)
  • Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)

The HVAC&R Workforce Development foundation will seek to promote jobs in the heating and refrigeration industry at federal and state level as well as with career and technical education programs. It will also educate secondary school principals, counsellors, and teachers of the career prospects in the HVAC&R industry.

Need for qualified technicians to increase by 34% by 2020

As reported in the Job Outlook 2010-11 of the US Department of Labour, the need for qualified HVAC&R technicians is expected to increase by 34% between 2010 and 2020, especially as a result of the anticipated rise in the popularity of sophisticated climate-control systems. In addition, a large number of heating and refrigeration equipment installed in the recently constructed houses and commercial buildings will need replacements within 10-15 years.

Not only quantity, but especially quality is important

The members of the Foundation highlight that more than the number of new installers and mechanics, there will be a significant need for qualified and trained technicians. Especially in light of transition towards low-GWP refrigerants, with which the US technicians are not yet thoroughly familiar, the training will be critical. While currently only around 20-25% of technicians have gone through an actual training programme, it becomes increasingly important to involve workforce in such courses.

As also highlighted at the ATMOsphere America 2012 workshop, there is currently a lack of standardised technician training overall, and more specifically related to natural refrigerants. The varying level of technician education resulting from this appears to be a major problem.


By Klara Skačanová

Jul 24, 2012, 14:03

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