ST. LOUIS - Nineteen Copeland refrigeration engineering laboratory technicians have been NATE-certified in commercial air conditioning.

The announcement was made by parent company Emerson Climate Technologies. Located in Copeland's headquarters in Sidney, Ohio, the technicians represent the Midwest's largest concentration of North American Technician Excellence-certified engineering lab technicians, according to Emerson.

"Emerson Climate Technologies is dedicated to providing the highest level of engineering excellence for the products we develop," said Warren Beeton, vice president of refrigeration engineering for Copeland. "The initiative to have our lab technicians certified according to NATE standards resulted from this commitment, and our desire to better meet the needs of our customers."

To prepare for the NATE certification exam, the entire Copeland refrigeration engineering lab underwent months of training to get up to speed on new information, systems and testing standards. Rich Rose, the assembly and inspection supervisor for Copeland's refrigeration engineering division, developed the curriculum and led the training.

"When we began in January 2005, we committed our time and resources to educating and training our technicians so that they could see firsthand what our customers experience in the field," said Rose. "We purchased the recommended training materials from ARI and set aside an hour and a half each week for nine months to prepare for the exam."

The certification program at Copeland is part of a company-wide initiative at Emerson to develop technologies that will continue to move the HVACR industry forward, officials said. It was designed to help lab technicians, some of whom have been out of the field for many years, understand how future products and technologies may be needed and used.