From learning the theory behind heating and air conditioning to participating in labs that teach troubleshooting skills, you can’t beat the hands-on training and experience that comes from technical education. Having that certificate or degree provides an advantage in the HVAC workforce, so many of those aspiring to join the field put in the time to get a quality education – but the costs can be high.

So, in 2015, Shurtape Technologies, LLC, a leading producer of pressure-sensitive tapes, set out on a mission to educate for success through its Mission: HVAC program. Through this program, three students from Athens Technical College in Athens, Ga., embarked on a journey of learning and discovery. Over the course of 10 months, they received HVAC-themed missions, which challenged them to put their classroom learnings and real-life experiences into action, and then reported their findings via posts on the Company’s Craftsman’s Corner blog.

Now, Shurtape has launched its second year of the Mission: HVAC program with three new students, selected among applicants from technical schools nationwide. Like their predecessors, they will receive 10 HVAC-themed missions that will require them to conduct research, interview HVAC pros and meet with industry experts, and then compile that knowledge into blog posts. And, they will be rewarded for their participation in the program and completion of all 10 missions with $5,000 to put toward the cost of their education and help prepare them for future employment.

Meet the 2016 Mission: HVAC Students

Derick Chandler

School: Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus, Indiana

Fun Fact: Derick decided to pursue a career in the trades as he was preparing to be honorably discharged after serving 8 years in the Navy. It was his chief in the Navy who pushed him to HVAC.

Jacob Hall

School: Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, North Carolina

Fun Fact: Jacob has an extensive career history in construction, including masonry, general carpentry, timber framing, log building, drafting and the heavy equipment industry – but he’s decided to focus on HVAC as it provides the ability for him to become a recognized, licensed tradesman.

Michael Dermer

School: Athens Technical College, Athens, Georgia

Fun Fact: Michael changed careers after 28 years in the restaurant field, which allowed him to start his own company and have the flexibility to spend time with his children. He’s decided to learn a totally new field as he hopes he can help others using his education and key learnings.

“Our Mission: HVAC program was introduced last year in response to the growing concern over the future of the skilled trades, particularly as Baby Boomers continue to age out of the workforce with very few replacements. The HVAC field has a lot to offer in terms of a career path – and job security – but those entering this workforce need to come armed with a quality educational background to meet the demands of potential employers. And that often comes with a price tag,” said Glenn Walter, product manager for building and construction tapes at Shurtape. “This program helps to shed some light on the training required to become an HVAC professional, celebrate the students’ hard work and accomplishments, and take off some of the financial burden associated with getting that technical education. We hope our new students bring the same fresh perspective and positive energy to every challenge we give them, just like our three students from Athens Technical College did in 2015.”

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