Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Last year I posted a thanksgiving article citing reasons for folks in HVAC/R to be thankful, myself in particular. If you are teaching HVAC/R, I know that you are experiencing record record enrollment at a time when your financial resources are dwindling. Although your job is difficult, you do have a job. A very important one at that. Your classes are filled with good men and women who do not have a job and they are looking to you for help. Both the economic situation and my reasons for being thankful in the face of adversity remain the same, so I am reposting last year's comments. 

At thanksgiving we should all take time to reflect on our blessings. For me this has been a great year filled with an abundance of blessings for which I am truly thankful. Unfortunately, many of my students have had setbacks in their life the past couple of years. I suspect many of your students have as well. We are seeing a wave of students who are preparing for a second or third career because their previous career was abruptly terminated. The plant they worked for closed, the building contractor they worked for has no projects, or the company they worked for has gone out of business. These are good people whose life has been turned upside down. It would be easy for them to concentrate on the past and what they have lost rather than what lies ahead. Dwelling on past misfortunes can be harmful to your health, adversely affect your present and threaten your future. I believe that one of the most important things we can do for these students is to keep them focused on their future. I have seen economic downturns and displaced workers before and I know the end game. These folks will merge their current skills, knowledge and experience with the knowledge and skills they will learn in their HVAC/R program to quickly become leaders in their new field. HVAC/R needs them.
Here is a list of a few things today’s air conditioning students can be thankful for.
  • The need for heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems is only going to increase.
  • They are starting a new career in a field that desperately needs skilled workers.
  • There are still openings for skilled air conditioning technicians even during this economic downturn.
  • Installation and repair of HVAC/R systems cannot be outsourced to foreign country.
  • The wages earned will remain competitive because the work cannot be done by unskilled workers.
  • They will enter the field with training for new refrigerants at a time when this knowledge is crucial.
  • They will enter the field with training for new high efficiency systems at a crucial time as well.
  • They are entering a field that is consciously increasing the level of professionalism and certification.
  • They have experienced HVAC/R educators to help them make this career change.
I wish for all of you an abundance of blessings for the coming year.

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