Municipal and federal initiatives, combined with increasing interest in energy efficiency in commercial buildings, federal buildings, and schools, have been providing some extra motivation to HVACR training programs in South Florida.

“Energy efficiency is a paramount priority for businesses in today's economy,” according to Art Warren, training director of the Air Conditioning Technical Center (AC Tech).

“On city and federal levels, initiatives are developing in Miami-Dade County that involve the HVAC systems of area businesses, schools, and government buildings. These systems are major energy consumers. In this area, where the air conditioning runs almost constantly, workers with cutting-edge skills in air conditioning installation and service are going to be in high demand,” Warren says.

In October, AC Tech celebrated 60 years of training South Florida workers for the mechanical contracting industry, and graduating students with expertise in HVACR.

Upon graduation, AC Tech apprentices become journeymen workers with United Association Local 725.

A regular infusion of new talent is needed in all construction sectors, to make up for frequent workforce reductions through normal attrition.

“The age of the average construction worker is about 47, and more retire or leave the industry every year,” says Michael Mueller, labor chairman for AC Tech's education committee. “As they leave the industry, more highly-trained workers will be needed to upgrade Florida's schools and government buildings.” actechjobs.com