The future of the HVACR industry — any industry, for that matter — depends in large measure on improved education and the enticement of quality young people to the field.

Recognizing those essential needs, HARDI has prominently involved itself with academia in a number of important ways that benefit the industry immediately and help to perpetuate its future.

One key function is HARDI's Guest Educator program. A yearly happening, it has become one of the most effective industry activities involving the academic community.

Each year, your education committee selects up to five teachers to be expenses-paid guests at the fall HARDI conference. We select these premier educators from among the names submitted by you, the members, each spring.

Attending the HARDI conference gives educators a front-row seat with backstage passes, so to speak, to the newest and hottest topics in the HVACR distribution industry, not to mention the chance to rub elbows with the top distributors and manufacturers in their field.

Previous guest educators have reported establishing important industry contacts — helping to improve their individual school programs through donations of equipment, training materials and student literature. Both HVACR and “supply chain” marketing educators from accredited schools are eligible to be a guest educator nominee.

A fairly new venture, the HARDI Foundation is a supporter of the Career Pathway program — a multiassociation undertaking to install appropriate “distribution” curricula in local community colleges. Last winter, members received a detailed flyer on the activity from Foundation President Doug Young with an invitation to get involved with the distribution program at their local community college. (See below — Careers Pathway Overview or visit www.idcareers.org.)

The Heating, Airconditioning Ladies Organization — HALO — also supported the Pathway program with a contribution of $2,000 slated for individual scholarships at participating Pathway schools. (Currently eight schools participate.) HALO has also provided 5 certificates for current HVACR students in vo-tech and community colleges to take the core NATE test at no cost.

The HARDI Foundation continues to award David M. Lawson Memorial scholarships to employees of member firms enrolled in post-secondary industry-related education. Information for this program is available through the HARDI office or on the association website at www.hardinet.org.

Lastly, the HARDI Foundation provides information to around 100 qualifying schools promoting the opportunity for their current HVACR and supply chain students to post job resumes on the HARDI website for the convenience of members who may be looking for full- and part-time employees.

For further details on any of these programs, feel free to contact the HARDI office at 888/253-2128 or e-mail hardimail@hardinet.org. Information is also available on HARDI's website at www.hardinet.org.