In an effort to help the next generation of HVACR technicians, hilmor announces its Retool Your Future scholarship contest; this program was designed to help those who are finding a new purpose in their lives through a career in the HVACR industry.

More than 550 current and future HVACR students applied for the program. The contest prize package included a $10,000 scholarship, an HVACR Starter Kit, travel to the 2014 AHR Expo and a hilmor merchandising Green Wall donated to the winners’ schools.

This year’s winners are:

Kenneth Chavez, 46, is a student at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, CA. Kenny is a veteran with 20 years of experience in the medical field who found himself without a job due to the economy. He chose to change careers to pursue his lifelong interest in HVACR. He’s in his second year of school and intends to get his C-20 contractors’ license. Kenny works with Aldco Air and Green Air, and credits his mentors, as well as his instructors, for helping him prepare for a successful career in the HVACR industry. He plans to start his own HVACR company, Fairway Air, in April.

David Hall, 33, attends Athens Technical College in Athens, GA. Hall is the first person in three generations on his father’s side of the family to graduate from high school, and says that HVACR school is helping him place a greater emphasis on education for himself and his children. David is the father of two boys, ages seven and 20 months, and his wife is expecting their third child, a girl, in April. Before starting his HVACR education, he was a truck driver for 12 years. He chose to leave that career for one in HVACR so he could spend more time with his family.

Francisco Iniguez, 23, is a student at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Though Iniguez was born in California, he was raised in Mexico by his single mom. He returned to the United States to learn English and graduate from high school, while working third shift. After earning his HVACR technician certification, he plans to obtain his bachelor’s degree. He is treasurer of his school’s chapter of the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, and participates in the “Hands On” program that provides HVACR services to local elderly people.

“We know we are addressing an unmet need for financial assistance and other support for HVACR students,” said Andrea Halpin, senior manager, brand marketing, hilmor. “We are already planning the 2014 contest and will expand the number of scholarships to reach more students.”

Winners are attending this year’s AHR Expo, and will be at the hilmor booth (No. 559) periodically throughout the show.