It’s no secret that the shortage of skilled labor in the HVAC industry is an ongoing concern. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026. That’s faster than the average for all occupations — and far faster than the available pool of qualified HVAC applicants is growing.
“Providing technical training opportunities to help new workers acquire in-demand skills is one important part of the solution,” said Air Purchases Vice President Jim Travers. “Developing training that’s relevant, convenient, and affordable for contractors and business owners is another. We’ve been working hard to do both.”
Over the years, Air Purchases has experimented with different formats for its training, including offering top-quality e-learning courses for a low annual fee. “This made training convenient and affordable for our customers,” said Travers, “but we felt it was more critical than ever, especially for those new to the workforce, to get expert, hands-on training.”
Several years ago, the company began investing in building training facilities that would offer live-equipment training on many of the industry’s top HVAC offerings. Today, it has three such facilities, in Burlington, MA; Hyannis, MA; and at its Engel HVAC Supply location in Manchester, NH. Now, in addition to classes on basic electricity, furnace/air conditioning installation and troubleshooting, and system wiring and set-up, technicians can take advantage of advanced hands-on, live-equipment training on Allied Commercial, Armstrong Air, Ducane, Aprilaire, Fujitsu Halcyon, Fujitsu Airstage VRF, Ventacity’s new HVAC2 Smart Platform, and more. Vendor and industry partner training classes, including Mass Save’s AC and MS Check, and Ventacity Systems’ “Ventilation for High-Performance Commercial Buildings,” are also offered, as are sales and service training.
All three locations are also Fujitsu-authorized training academies, which saves contractors hundreds of dollars in travel, hotel and registration costs by keeping the training local. “We are the only New England Fujitsu distributor with three authorized academies,” noted Air Purchases Commercial Sales Manager Tim Conrad. “We’re also the only one with three Fujitsu Distributor Qualified Instructors (DQIs) on staff. Collectively, our team has nearly 100 years of HVAC and training experience, which allows us to offer some of the most comprehensive training available on the market today.”
To keep contractor costs down, Air Purchases offers the majority of its classes at little or no cost to HVAC businesses. “We are at a critical juncture in this industry,” said Travers. “Baby boomers are retiring, second-generation companies are dwindling as sons and daughters opt to pursue careers elsewhere, and the need for a broader-based skill set is increasing for those who do choose to enter the industry. It’s time we all stepped up to do whatever we can to keep this industry growing forward. Offering affordable, top of the line training is our small way of doing our part.”
View Air Purchases 2018 Training Calendar here. To register, or for more information, contact Sharon Mangano at 781-273-2050.