Contractors Guide to Green Products: Page 1. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NE WSMAGA ZINE SINCE 1926 October 10, 2011 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Critical Skills Gap Still Widening By Joanna R. Turpin Of The NEWS Staff fyi hvac briefs E ven though the worst recession in recent memory officially ended in June 2009, the unemployment rate has remained above 9 percent, and jobs have not bounced back as quickly as anticipated. One of the reasons for that, noted the not-for-profit organization, ACT (www.act.org), is that a significant segment of today’s labor force does not have the requisite skills that employers demand. This information probably does not come as a surprise to HVAC contractors, many of whom have complained for years that it is extremely difficult to find skilled workers to fill job openings. There is plenty of blame to go around as some point the finger at high schools, trade schools, or the contractors themselves. Many in the industry have ideas on what can be done differently to ensure there is a larger pool of well-educated, skilled service technicians ready to enter the workforce. Contractors • The Dwyer Group (Waco, Texas) will welcome international master licensees, franchisees, associates and vendors in Indianapolis on Oct. 19-21 for its 2011 Annual Reunion in conjunction with its 30 th anniversary. • Brady (Greensboro, N.C.) an-nounced that Jim Brady, company president, has been awarded the Department of Defense Patriot Award. This recognition is given to employers who support mem-bers of the U.S. armed forces in the workplace. Manufacturers • Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heat-ing (Suwanee, Ga.) announced that Eric Dubin joined the national accounts group as manager of strategic accounts and utilities. • Aquatherm Inc. (Lindon, Utah) announced that Ed Eldredge has been promoted to executive vice president of U.S. sales. HVAC instructor, Kevin Livingston (right), noted that most students in his classes are very motivated to work hard and obtain the skills necessary to become service technicians. Continued on page 4 Mind The Gap There are many opinions floating around concerning why there are not enough skilled individuals entering the HVAC industry. Some blame contractors, noting that they need to pick up the slack on training if they want a reputation for providing quality work. • See SKILLS GAP | page 30 LEED Pay Off Debated by Industry Contractors By Peter Powell Of The NEWS Staff I n the green movement, the most measureable aspect is the LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — certification program. Building owners striving for such certification — be it for cost saving energy efficiency, or recognition of being green, or both — seek to accumulate up to 35 points depending on the level of certification. Somewhere in the mix is HVACR with a dozen or so points (enough to tip the scale from one level of certification to a higher one) directly related to heating and cooling equipment. There is a need for HVACR contractors skilled in fitting into the mix and able to do their job amidst other trades while under the watchful eye of the general contractor and at the same time wading through more than the normal amount of paperwork. Is it worth it? Well, it depends on who within the HVACR sector you talk to. Jeff Phillabaum, president of Hill-York in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has been involved in many LEED projects, said, “We view it as another project that we can do. We don’t specifically search out LEED projects to do, but if the opportunity presents itself for us to provide our services for a LEED project, we are prepared to do so.” He noted one of his most recent projects was a multiuse municipal building that earned Gold certification. Hugh Joyce, president of James River Air Conditioning Co., Richmond, Va., called it, “A great learning process” and something that fit into his “passion for building a better building.” One of his favorite projects was what he described as a solar cottage that garnered LEED Platinum. • See PAY OFF | page 28 Attend this FREE webinar! DIGITAL EDITION THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY: Next Generation Supermarket Refrigeration: CO 2 DATE: October 20 • TIME: 1 PM ET Register for FREE at webinars.achrnews.com.