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Investing In The Future of HVAC – Part 4

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This article is a continuation of the previous three articles titled “Investing In The Future of HVAC”. As was previously discussed,finding qualified HVAC technicians is getting harder for employers to find. RightTek HVAC Training, in partnership with the local Johnstone Supply store decided that not meeting the needs of this industry with trained technicians was not acceptable. A six-week Bootcamp style course was developed to produce a junior-level service technician,ready to enter the workforce. This current issue is going to focus on the Week IV curriculum while continuing to highlight several students who took the step forward to better their lives and their success stories after they completed the course.

Week Four:

The first three weeks of Bootcamp focused primarily on Air-Conditioning systems and acquiring EPA 608 Certifications.Week Four was dedicated solely to Heat-Pump systems. Lectures and hands-on exercises focused on theory, system operations and troubleshooting of Heat-Pump systems.To reinforce the BootCamp method of repetitive learning, everything taught in the morning sessions was repeated in the afternoon sessions.Students were able to explain how every component worked and show refrigerant flow directions for both heat and cooling modes. To ensure a complete understanding of the heat-pump cycle, students took turns playing “teacher” and demonstrating to the entire class the ability to trace out all the components on a heat-pump package unit.Considerable amount of time was also spent on the inner workings of the “reversing valve” to include how the valve operates during the heating, cooling & defrost modes. This intimate understanding allowed the students to master troubleshooting skills since they knew what to expect when performing their diagnostic testing.

With the EPA 608 Certification exam behind us, the focus shifted to getting the class ready for their NATE “Ready to Work” examination.Other Week IV material continued within-depth familiarization of the heat-pump defrost operations, low-voltage control wiring and a deeper comprehension of wiring diagrams. Lab drills continued with taking high & low voltage electrical readings on every possible component on a heat-pump system and analyzing normal & abnormal readings.

Meet One of Our Students:

Kevin Best came to the first day of Bootcamp with no experience in the trade. Upon leaving high school, Kevin found employment as a dishwasher at an assisted living care center. To enter and advance in the HVAC trade, Kevin knew he would need to acquire skilled knowledge and the Bootcamp program was going to provide the pathway he needed. Luckily Kevin’s new employer was also his older brother who owned a small heating & cooling company that was looking to expand in the Raleigh area. Having his brother pay for the tuition allowed Kevin to show up the first day of class ready to succeed. As one of our most engaging students, Kevin would ask questions until he fully understood the material being taught. When Kevin completed the course, he started performing service work that same week. Working beside his brother at first and gaining confidence daily,he was driving solo in his own service truck within a month. We recently caught up for lunch with Kevin and his brother Cameron (owner of NC Express Heating & Cooling) who shared with us that his younger brother was performing beyond all expectations!Kevin wanted to let us know that the real-world lectures and classroom exercises on how things actually worked has made all the difference when in the field.In Kevin’s own words, “The Bootcamp course has changed my life and I feel fortunate that my brother sent me to this class. Six months ago,I was making minimum wage with no plans for the future and now I’m fully employed with a very bright future”. Kevin is currently being groomed to become the lead service technician allowing his brother to spend more time growing the business. We could not be any prouder of Kevin’s work accomplishments and seeing him grow as a viable partner in the family business.

Next Month’s Issue:

In next month’s issue we will showcase the topics taught in Week V(Gas Furnaces) and we look forward to sharing with you how this innovative program is changing lives, as we share with you another student’s story.(This article is Part Four of a Six-Part Series)

Bill Timberlake

Posted In: ACCA Now, Technical Tips

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