Student Connections

We at SEMIACCA are "Fans" of Ferris State University, the leading institution for the HVACR trade. Located in Big Rapids, Michigan, FSU has a world class reputation for graduating top students from 2- and 4-year HVACR programs. Please visit this page for updated information on the ACCA Student Chapter at FSU and other student activities.

Ferris State Roundtable Discussions: Getting High School Students Interested in HVACR
It may not have been the most scientific study ever done but the results and one-on-one conversations with Ferris State University HVACR students yielded some interesting reasons why it is tough to recruit high school students into the HVACR trade. That was the topic of the roundtable discussions at the recent Ferris State University School of HVACR Advisory Board meeting on Friday, April 26th at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Big Rapids, Michigan.

I hosted five different sessions with six students at each discussion. I also asked the students to fill out some answers on why they thought it was tough to recruit new students and what solutions the might have to this problem. Of the 30 replies, I whittled down some of the answers into a general consensus on the top problems for getting high school students interested in HVACR and top solutions to attract these same students to the trade.
  • Not a well-known trade; ignorance of HVACR
  • Kids lacking mechanical skills
  • Stereotype of dirty technician/dirty working conditions
  • High schools push away from vocational trades
  • Budget cutting/loss of votech classes
  • Limited number of HVACR educational institutions
  • Ignorance of skills necessary, income & advancement potential
  • Poor marketing of HVACR trade
  • Parental pressure to go to college and earn degree
  • Better marketing
  • High school counselor education
  • Hands-on tours of “cool” buildings & mechanical systems
  • Free handouts to high school students
  • More on-campus tours
  • Promote skills competitions
  • Industry reps visit trade and high schools
  • Contractor visits and ridealongs
  • Demonstrate that HVACR is not just residential repair & replacement
  • Emphasize connection between HVACR and “green” technology
  • Send current HVACR students back to high schools as ambassadors
  • Market through social networking

Stirring interest in an HVACR career is an age-old problem – but it isn’t a problem that can’t be solved. The students at Ferris State know all about that!