Industry Training Groups RETA and RSES Announce Merger

Industry Training Groups RETA and RSES Announce Merger

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Two major industry U.S. refrigeration training groups – the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) – have announced a merger.

RETA, based in Albany, Oregon, is a leading provider of training, education, and certification for industrial refrigeration technicians and engineers, with a focus on ammonia (R717)-based systems. RSES, based in Arlington Heights, Illinois,offers training, education, and certification for professional HVAC&R technicians and contractors, including hydrocarbon equipment. The combined organizations will provide training, testing, and certification for technicians and engineers in both refrigeration and HVAC.

No indication was given on what the merged organization will be called.

After nearly three years of discussion and planning, the memberships of both RETA and RSES approved a merge of the associations during their annual business meetings in November. This decision was made “to help strengthen two long-standing nonprofit sister associations within the HVAC&R industry under one management model,” said the announcement. Jim Barron, who has worked with both boards throughout the planning process, will serve as the Executive Director of the combined organization.

Barron described the organizations as being “two sides of the same coin” that stand to strengthen each other and the industry through the merger. “There is much work that still needs to be done,” he noted, adding that both boards and headquarter staffs are well-positioned to take on this task over this next year. “We have already done a lot of work in both associations in order to prepare for the changes we plan to make, and everyone is looking forward to working together to make this happen.”

“I look forward to the future and seeing RETA and RSES members learning alongside each other in the coming year,” said 2023–2024 RSES International President Jerry Clark.

Added 2024 RETA President Mike Hawkins: “I’m honored to be serving as the RETA President during this historic moment as we are bringing our organizations back together as they once were. Both facets of the refrigeration industry have been changing over the years and the merger puts both organizations in a terrific position to continue educating, training, and certifying the operators and technicians to the Gold Standard! Both organizations have a lot of work ahead of us to implement to the merger and I’m excited to be working with RSES International President Jerry Clark to bring us together as one family.”

ANAB (ANSI National Accreditation Board) accredits RETA certification exams. “Our ANAB accreditation means regulatory agencies such as EPA and OSHA highly regard us in the establishment and maintenance of the highest industrial and safety benchmarks,” said RETA, adding “We plan to strengthen the accreditation of RSES in the future.”

“We have already done a lot of work in both associations in order to prepare for the changes we plan to make, and everyone is looking forward to working together to make this happen.”

Jim Barron, Executive Director of RETA/RSES

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