Shurtape Launches Year Five of Mission: HVAC, Educating for Success Program

Program showcases journey of three students; adds instructor for new point of view

HICKORY, N.C. (April 2019) – It’s no secret that the HVAC industry – like many trades – is facing a deficit of skilled workers. The field requires a wealth of knowledge of all things HVAC and proper training can be difficult to find – and costly. That’s why Shurtape, a Hickory, N.C.- based manufacturer and marketer of pressure-sensitive tapes, introduced its Mission: HVAC, Educating for Success program in 2015 – with the goal of arming students with the money and hands-on experience they need to succeed in the HVAC field.

Now celebrating its fifth year, Shurtape is proud to introduce this year’s three Mission: HVAC students:

  • Blake Hodge – Student, Ferris State University (Portland, Mich.): HVAC runs in Blake’s blood – his family has been in the business for 50 years and counting. Blake hopes to continue his family’s legacy in the industry, but also hopes to take his education a step further by pursuing a degree in HVAC engineering.
  • Brenan Vogt – Student, Des Moines Area Community College (Urbandale, Iowa): Brenan is dedicated to working toward starting his own business. He recognizes HVAC work is in high demand and is excited to meet those needs.
  • Michael Clemons – Student, Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny, Iowa): Michael loves being hands-on, so the HVAC industry is perfect for him. He is intrigued by the growing industry and is excited to gain even more HVAC experience.

As in past program years, these three students will be given 10 HVAC-themed missions over the next few months. These missions will get them networking with pros in the field, putting their classroom learnings to the test, and more. And they’ll be rewarded for completion of all these challenges with $5,000 each to put toward the cost of their education.

And, in celebration of the fifth year of Mission: HVAC, Shurtape has expanded the program to include an HVAC educator, bringing a new point of view to the program. Like the students, this instructor will be given a series of missions to complete, providing insight into the field from the educational side of the business. And the reward for completion of the assigned missions? Cash – $5,000 – to put toward tools, training and technology for HVAC training.

Meet the educator:

  • Chris Walters – Instructor, The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC (Houston, Texas): Chris Walters has been working in the HVAC industry for 40 years. After a long career of owning his own A/C company, he decided to dedicate his time to opening and running The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC. Chris is proud that his graduates are highly sought post-graduation – with most receiving job offers even before they graduate.

“We started Mission: HVAC to help bridge the skilled trades gap and combat some of the stereotypes of working in the HVAC field, proving that it takes hard work, dedication, and education to make it in the industry,” said Lisa Zierfuss, product manager for HVAC and Building & Construction Tapes at Shurtape. “The addition of the educational side further enhances the program, providing a completely new perspective from those on the front line who are responsible for training the next generation of HVAC pros. We are excited to see this program enter its fifth year and can’t wait to see how our Mission: HVAC participants tackle the challenges ahead.”

Over the course of the next few months, Mission: HVAC participants will complete their challenges and post their findings on Shurtape’s tape education website,