This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Alabama Council of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Educators, or ACARE. The meeting was held at the Alabama Power training center, in Verbena, Alabama. The training room was full with approximately 50 HVACR instructors attending. Not only were there people from Alabama, but also Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. ACARE is a great example of what can be accomplished through cooperation between industry and educators. The meeting could not have happened without the help of Joel Own and Alabama Power, but the instructors are taking a very active role in making everything happen. Instructors set the program and invited the speakers. They put together an impressive Alabama Power discussing the COVER approach to troubleshooting, Harold Nelson from Mingledorff’s discussing compressor failures, a tech forum with manufacturer’s service reps, Jeff Marques of Air Engineers showing off the new Trane Hyperion air handler, Chris Mohalley of Genteq on ECM motors, and me showing MyHVACLab. Harold and Chris both came fully loaded with handouts including books, powerpoint presentations, and manufacturer’s specifications. The handouts were worth the trip! The instructors received training in the latest technologies and Alabama Power lightened their load in the future, both literally and figuratively. Encouraging the development of HVACR Training programs in their state will produce more capable HVACR technicians for the future of Alabama. This translates into fewer problems with systems and energy saving savings. The state of Alabama wins two ways – they save on both education and energy costs. Suppliers such as Mingledorff’s make more money on customers with educated technicians because they don’t have to spend as much money on tech support and warranty. The instructors also are able to learn from and help each other. In times of economic stress, it really makes sense to help each other as much as possible because everybody wins.