In an effort to attract more students and workers from other countries, ASHRAE has launched a new membership class.

ATLANTA - in an effort to attract younger members, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers has developed a new affiliate membership level.

ASHRAE has approximately 7,000 student members. However, according to the society, only about 100 of them become associates or full-fledged members each year.

"The society's new affiliate grade will help ASHRAE broaden its appeal and remain vibrant by reaching out to younger members and those who live in developing regions," said Ron Vallort, ASHRAE president.

The new classification will also be used to attract members in countries outside North America. ASHRAE currently has members in 34 countries.

"However, the developing world greatly needs the information and resources and networking opportunities that an organization like ASHRAE can provide," said Vallort. "Many young professionals in these developing nations have a strong desire to become members but do not have the financial resources to support a full membership."

The affiliate grade is open to new members under 30 and can only be held for up to three cumulative years. Annual dues are $40.