April 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm #8467
ACHR News has published an article providing solutions for solving the HVAC&R technician shortage
The article consists of interviews with multiple contractors providing their solutions to the HVAC&R technician shortage.
Bruce Campbell, National Accounts Manager–Supermarkets at United Refrigeration Inc in New York, offered five potential solutions: creating internship programs to give candidates the experience of working as a technician, passing on knowledge and experience through teaching and mentoring a candidate who shows aptitude, encouraging your state to develop a professional licensing program for HVAC&R technicians, developing e-learning courses in refrigeration and make them available to schools and other educational programs, and partnering with community colleges and promoting the development of more associate degree programs in HVAC&R technology.
Martin Luckcuck, Director–North Division Facility Maintenance, City Facilities Management in Florida, encourages contractors to be positive about developing their own talent and refutes four negatives or cons around training technicians as opposed to hiring already-skilled technicians: there is no good “raw material” (i.e. unskilled but eager people) out there, I can’t afford to train somebody, customers won’t pay for two technicians on what are generally considered one man jobs, and if I invest in training the employee will quit once they learn the trade and work elsewhere.
In regards to the con, there is no good “raw material” out there, Luckcuck refutes this by emphasising that while there are plenty of technical programs on the teaching the fundamentals of HVAC&R, contractors need to make the term and effort to engage them
In regards to the con, I can’t afford to train somebody , Luckcuck refutes this by pointing out that companies can’t afford not to train and that they need to make the commitment to train their employees.
In regards to the con, customers won’t pay for two technicians on what are generally considered one man jobs, Luckcuck refutes this by pointing out that you can’t send a new employee out on a job alone because you don’t know what problems they’ll be dealing with until they get there.
In regards to the con, if I invest in training the employee will quit once they learn the trade and work elsewhere, Luckcuck refutes this by emphasising the importance offering employees good benefits and a work-life balance.
Tony Trapp, the school-to-work apprenticeship coordinator at Upper Valley Career Center in Ohio, suggested that contractors can help address the technician shortage by getting involved with local vocational programs. While Becky Hoelscher, Director–AC aftermarket at Emerson, stated that contractors can help reduce the technician shortage through four basic steps: recruit, mentor, train and retrain, recommending that these steps are focused on high school students.
ACHR News’ article can be read in full here.
What are your suggestions for addressing a HVAC&R technician shortage? Do you think recruiting high school students is the answer? Feel free to login and comment below.
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