Contractingbusiness 2012 11413news0107jp00000004893

SkillsUSA Meets and Competes in KC, Awards New HVACR Champions

Aug. 1, 2005
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HVACR Electrical systems troubleshooting was one of nine SkillsUSA tests.

Rob Dohse, front left, Carrier Corp., and Lynne Bosse, front right, Lennox Industries, stand with SkillsUSA HVACR winners. Front row, from left: Matthew Floyd, Ozarks Technical Community College; Phillip M. Torrence, Chesterfield Technical Center; Joshua L. Keller, Huntingdon County AVTS. Back row, from left: William Jones, Vernon College; John Patterson, ND State College of Science; Lane St. John, Gadsden State Community College.

John Patterson, representing the North Dakota State College of Science, and Phillip Torrence, Chesterfield Tech Center, Chesterfield, VA, are the best HVACR students in the land, after winning gold medals in the HVACR category at the Skills USA 2005 competition, June 22-24 in Kansas City, MO.

Patterson competed in the college/post secondary school division; Torrence was a contestant in the high school division.

Silver and bronze medals for HVACR excellence were also awarded:

  • College/post secondary silver —Lane St. John, Gadsden State Community College, Gadsden, AL.
  • College/post secondary bronze — William Jones, Vernon College, Wichita Falls, TX.
  • High school silver —Joshua Keller, Huntingdon County AVTS, Mill Creek, PA.
  • High school bronze —Matthew Floyd, Ozarks Tech Community College, Springfield, MO.

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving high school and college students, and professional members enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations. More than 4,600 contestants participated in this year's competition, in 80 hands-on skill and leadership contests. Fifty-four entrants competed in the HVACR events.

The event drew an estimated 14,000 visitors to the Kansas City Convention Center.

Industry lends support. Corporate support for SkillsUSA was provided by Carrier, Emerson Climate Technologies, Rheem, Scotsman Ice Systems, Inc., JKL Technical Sales, Ingersoll-Rand, Malco Products, North American Technician Excellence, and others.

Ray Mach, director of education for the Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute (ARI), graded written exams for the HVACR competition. He says SkillsUSA is a feather in the cap of the nation's developing workforce.

"The entire competition adds dignity to labor," says Mach. "Skills USA gives incentive to others, when they see the quality work, the talent, and the dedication in people who are willing to do this work and have good careers ahead of them."

Keeping training relevant. As the HVACR industry works to attract and train new technicians. It's important that the training be relevant.

"The HVACR industry's involvement in SkillsUSA helps vocational schools administrators develop courses that will best prepare HVACR students for life in the real world," says Rob Dohse, a senior training specialist with Carrier Corporation, who encourages HVACR contractors to support and visit their local vocational schools, to make sure the schools are providing the training the HVACR industry needs its technicians to have.

Pat Murphy, vice president of certifications for North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and a member of the technical committee for this year's competition, says Skills USA can indeed point out deficiencies in training, and highlight the successes.

"Skills USA helps us to identify the best of the best," says Murphy, "and identify some of the deficiencies in the educational community. Then, we can feed that info back to the schools."