Investing In The Future of HVAC – Part 5
This article is a continuation of the previous four 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 V 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.
The first four weeks of Bootcamp focused primarily on Air-Conditioning and Heat-Pump Systems. Week 5 was dedicated to Gas Furnaces with non-stop classroom instruction and hands-on exercises. As we have learned from many years of teaching, an effective method of acclimating student technicians to Gas Furnaces is to show the “Sequence of Operations” of how a Gas Furnace “Turns-On”. This Sequence of Operations Instructional Method focuses on the required steps needed for a Gas Furnace to “start and operate properly”. While teaching this step-by-step sequence method, concepts & theory were instructed to reinforce on how the entire unit operates on an individual basis (each component) and as an entire system. At this point in the learning process, teaching troubleshooting techniques of a Gas Furnace became almost elementary since the students knew what to look for when a furnace failed to start. If the next step in sequence did not occur during the light-off procedure, then the students could quickly focus on an individual component that failed to operate properly. Hands-on exercises were then focused on part replacement and re-checking system startup procedures to successfully operate the furnace. To reinforce the Boot Camp method of repetitive learning, everything that was taught in the morning sessions was repeated over again in the afternoon sessions. Students were able to explain how every component worked and knew the sequence of operations like they knew their ABC’s. This intimate understanding allowed the students to master troubleshooting skills since they knew what to expect when performing their diagnostic testing.
Other Week V material continued with in-depth familiarization of the Gas Furnace low-voltage control wiring configurations and getting the class ready for their NATE “Ready to Work” examination. Lab drills continued with taking high & low voltage electrical readings on every possible component on a Gas Furnace system and analyzing normal versus abnormal readings.
Meet One of Our Students
Angel Hernandez came to the first day of Bootcamp with a fair amount of HVAC experience since he grew up helping his Dad in the business. A recent graduate of high school, Angel wanted to focus on the inner workings of how things worked to excel in this ever-advancing technical field. To master the HVAC trade, Angel knew he would need to “up his game” and the technical knowledge that the Bootcamp program was going to provide was that missing ingredient. Angel’s employer also saw the potential in him which allowed Angel to attend this program with a paycheck in one hand and career advancement in the other. As one of our top students who has ever attended one of our sessions, Angel quickly mastered all the classroom material being taught. Often during our class discussions, we would dive into engineering principles based on Angel’s questions of “how does that part work”. When Angel completed the course, he quickly transitioned from a field helper to a lead mechanic running his own install & start-up team. During a recent conversation, he expressed that the new job position and pay raise has provided a new career path that was unattainable only months earlier. Angel also wanted to let us know that the real-world lectures, in-class discussions on how things worked, along with repetitive lab exercises has made all the difference when in the field. In Angel’s own words, “The Bootcamp course was the game changer and I feel fortunate that my employer sent me to this class”. Once again, we could not be any prouder of Angel’s work accomplishments and seeing him flourish.
NEXT MONTH’S ISSUE
In next month’s issue we will showcase the topics taught in Week VI (Gas Furnaces & Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques) 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 Five of a Six–Part Series)
BECOME AN ACCA MEMBER