The Mechanical Contractors Association of America remains actively involved in the recruitment and education of the young through its growing number of student chapters that meet at universities, colleges and community colleges across the country.

At its recent MCAA Student Chapter Summit 2004 held in LaCrosse, Wis., students from its 28 chapters met to network and exchange ideas, and test their leadership and management skills. Students also competed in problem-solving activities, as well as participated in presentations from individual chapters.

Matt Klingler, 21, president of the relatively young Colorado State University chapter, said its goal right now is to recruit more students. The chapter has put on tailgates for football games and has invited industry executives to network with students as potential employers.

With positive industry backing from mechanical and heating companies, the chapter believes more students can find out about the many career options available.

Chair of the Ferris State University HVACR Department, Mike Feutz, agreed and sees the industry's most pressing issue is recruitment and replacement of the retiring craftsmen and managers in the field. With mechanical contracting as a "hidden industry," everybody needs to be aggressive and proactive in promoting the industry, Feutz said. That includes expanding the field to include women and minorities.

For more information on MCAA student chapters, visit