When the HVAC construction industry gathers in Orlando, Florida, this month for the AHR Expo, it will be an excellent opportunity for the industry’s employers to brainstorm ideas and solutions to issues facing the industry today.
Among those issues to discuss will be the challenge faced by hiring managers around the country: In many instances, there just aren’t enough qualified HVAC market technicians to meet the demand. Few industries are experiencing a skills gap as acutely as HVAC sales.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that HVAC construction hiring managers will need to add more than 85,000 new technicians across the country in the next seven years just to keep pace with a wide variety of industrial needs. The skills needed for HVAC market careers aren’t things students can learn at a four-year college — but institutes like Lincoln Tech are actively working every day to train students on exactly the skills they need to fill these roles and keep the climate control industry robust and competitive.
Likewise, an aging population of retiring baby boomers is creating a need for hands-on automotive technicians, welders and medical technicians, as well as other specialized fields across the country. In all, more than 3 million positions are expected to become available around the country by 2022 in fields for which we train students.
We’re working every day to narrow the skills gap in the HVAC construction industry, and we believe that hands-on training is the solution to the problem of not having enough qualified candidates to lead the industry in the coming years. Our mission is to advance the science, technology and application of trade skills to our students by providing them with the tools and hands-on knowledge required to help overcome the technical skills gap now facing our country’s most important industries.
We partner with local and regional HVAC market employers around the country to ensure our curriculum is addressing the skills and abilities they are looking for — including hands-on experience with the green HVAC technology innovations that represent the future of the industry. The next generation of technicians needs to be proficient in areas like energy auditing and energy efficiency, zero energy building, geothermal technologies and more. Lincoln Tech’s HVACR training programs have been enhanced to emphasize those skills, which you won’t find in the pages of a textbook.
This industry-standard curriculum is delivered by some of the nation’s most experienced HVACR instructors. The nonprofit HVAC Excellence, which accredits training programs, has awarded the certified master HVAC educator designation to only 80 instructors around the country. More than 25 of them teach at our schools. HVAC Excellence is perhaps the industry’s best-known measure of academic excellence and quality hands-on training, and our programs are regularly audited to ensure students are building skills that HVAC employers are looking for, on the most current technologies.
As you consider the needs of your own climate-control business, rest assured that technical school graduates are ready to step in and succeed in your open positions. If your existing team has skills that need to be enhanced — in green HVAC technology, for example, or in pursuing industry certifications — our industry training partnerships group can help customize a training plan that builds the skills of your current workforce. Our goal is to be a one-stop solutions provider for the HVAC industry in all facets of workforce development, and we would like to hear from you about what we can do to better serve your industry, your business and your team.
There will be a wealth of exciting new technologies and innovations on display at this month’s AHR Expo, and at Lincoln Tech we’re excited to see what the future of the industry holds. However, the industry’s most valuable assets are the people that work in it, and that’s where we can help. Do you have hiring and training needs?
We have solutions, and we look forward to providing you and your team with the support you need to keep your climate-control business operating at the top of its game
Scott Shaw is president and CEO of Lincoln Technical Institute.