115,000 Jobs To Fill!

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By Paul Baccaro

Paul Baccaro Coolfront VP, Operations & Product Development

I’m calling out to all HVAC instructors and trade schools… status quo doesn’t seem to be working. So, let’s change- the future of the HVAC industry depends on it.

According to the latest report from the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation...

“A new study estimates 115,000 new HVACR workers must be trained by 2022 to meet the anticipated demand.”

This need for jobs in the HVAC industry is driven by 2 well-known factors:

  1. According to the Social Security Administration,  22% of all Baby Boomers will retire by 2022. Over 50% of all techs in the industry fall into the Baby Boomer generation. If I do my math correctly, that means over 32,000 techs will retire in the next 5 years. Whoa!
  2. Not enough job seekers are looking at the HVAC industry as a career choice to fill the growing talent gap.

None of us can do anything about the first factor. As HVAC instructors and schools you CAN help on the second. Let me present the HVAC educators out there with a path to help attract new recruits to the HVAC industry.

Technology

It’s true, traditionally most of the people who became HVAC technicians were not computer savvy. They are better with Mechanical Systems than Operating Systems. But that is changing. As Millennials and Gen Z (the first digital native generation) begin looking for jobs, they are not only comfortable with technology, they engage with it every day. They expect it to be part of the daily routine.

It’s time we include technology in our training curriculum. Some instructors already are, some still do not. Why not add a lesson on how to connect  a smart thermostat to wifi? Or what about safe drone operation for roof inspections? How about teaching HVAC industry techs to use Slack for collaboration? Or even just a homework assignment asking techs to read the latest news on IoT, AI, Augmented Reality or other hot technology trends.

I think you’ll find technology is a valuable recruitment tool for future generations. Let’s use it. Let’s go to high schools, job fairs, and social media and talk about apps, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, solar and other exciting topics that are touching HVAC. Let’s get people excited about a career as a tech. It truly is an exciting job but too many view it as just wrench turning. Let’s include topics in our courses that show just how dynamic the job can be.

At Coolfront we’re doing our part. Last year we launched Coolfront Education, a program that encourages trade schools and colleges to use our mobile app in the classroom. The purpose is to help teach future techs about the soft skills they will need on the job, like presenting the price to customers and collecting payment. It also gives techs a hot new app to engage with. For Millennials and Gen Z, that’s a natural. I encourage you to give us a call and see how you can implement Coolfront Education.

As you can tell, I’m a technophile. I evangelize technology every chance I get. I’m always looking at the latest and greatest trends, so if you ever want to contact me and chat about how to use tech in your class, please don’t hesitate to email me (paul@coolfront.com).

There are 115,000 jobs in the HVAC industry to fill. Time to get cracking.

Sign up to use the Coolfront Mobile app for free in your classroom. Simply call us at 888.229.4100 and we’ll get you started.

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