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
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!