Keeping the Conversation Going: Opportunities in HVACR for Minority Contractors
As the conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion continues, increasing the number of minorities in leadership roles at HVACR businesses is a step in the right direction.
For Maliek Carrington, owner of Affordable Maintenance Services in Fort Mill, SC, Craig Elliot, owner of Nice Heating and Air in Springfield, VA, and Jonathan Neves, owner of Green Energy Mechanical in Canton, MA, using their service expertise to open the HVACR industry doors for other black, indigenous, and people of color is highly rewarding.
All three men are Black, having faced and overcome prejudices throughout their lives to get to where they are now. Being minority business owners has helped them to keep the conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion going, and work to add people like themselves to the HVAC industry’s ranks.
“I’m an opportunity guy,” said Craig Elliot. When it comes to hiring, he gives equal consideration to applicants of all backgrounds, saying if a young Black man comes in for an interview and seems like he has what it takes, he’ll give them the chance to prove themself.
Maliek Carrington says since he started teaching HVAC along with owning his business, which also offers job placement services, he’s seen young Black men and women reap the rewards of learning a trade. One woman who had worked at a restaurant for $12 an hour when she started her classes called Carrington and said, “Now I’ve got a comma in my paycheck.”
Jonathan Neves started working co-op at an HVAC firm when he was 17, and started his business, Green Energy Mechanical, at 27. He saw an opportunity in offering higher-end, more energy-efficient products to consumers.
“Our company is designed very differently from our competitors in that regard,” Neves said. “Our model is really trying to help people decrease their carbon footprint through energy-efficient heating and air conditioning.” He also strives to provide transparency to consumers, and it’s a formula that works, recently allowing Green Energy to move into a new, bigger building.
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Posted In: Management
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