Several HVAC industry associations recently placed a regional ad in USA Today in a bid to elevate awareness about the promise and value of a career as a skilled worker.

The full-page advertisement appeared in six regional editions of the newspaper. In addition, kits containing a brochure on a career in air conditioning, refrigeration or plumbing were delivered to school administrators as part of a multi-industry communications effort.

Industry participation was coordinated by the Career Education Coalition, a cooperative effort of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute and the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors and the North American Technician Excellence Program.

Logos of the organizations and their Web site addresses were included in the advertisement. Each kit included a reprint to be used as a poster on school bulletin boards.

"Changing the mindset among parents and some school counselors and administrators that discourages a career as a skilled worker will not be easy," said Edward W. Dooley, ARI vice president of communications. "This unique effort by a coalition of industries provided the resources that none of them could achieve alone."