North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and other industry-supported technician training programs were endorsed by the United Association labor union in an agreement signed by industry and union representatives in New York City at the AHR Expo in January.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony by Rex Boynton, president of NATE; Stephen Yurek, president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); Patrick Murphy, president of the Partnership for Air-conditioning, Heading and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA); and Michael Arndt, director of training for the UA.
The agreement provides for advanced placement in a local union’s HVACR apprenticeship program for applicants who have:
- Completed a full-time program accredited by the PAHRA and passed a series of certificate/certification exams within one year of application
- Achieved a “C” average or better and an industry-validated passing grade on the Industry Competency Exam for residential heating and air conditioning, commercial heating and air conditioning, or commercial refrigeration
- Achieved certification by NATE in one Heating Service Specialty, one Cooling Service Specialty and Light Commercial Refrigeration Service Specialty requiring at least the NATE Core Service test or the NATE Service Specialty in Heating, Cooling, and Light Refrigeration
“The United Association has more than 300,000 members and is a real leader in providing training to the plumbing and pipefitting industry. Their commitment to building and maintaining a skilled workforce is commendable and aligns well with NATE's mission of recognizing quality technicians through voluntary testing and certification,” said Boynton. “The UA's ability to reach hundreds of thousands of industry professionals through their apprenticeship programs, continuing education opportunities and mobile training facilities, gives NATE access to a vast pool of potential certification candidates.”
“Training and supplying highly skilled HVACR Service Technicians to our Employer partners, and expanding our recruitment programs are high priorities for the United Association,” said Arndt. “Our new relationship with NATE, ARI, and PAHRA will not only help us reach our mutual goals but will advance the entire HVACR industry as well. We in the United Association look forward to working with our new partners in this endeavor for many years.”
Donald House, director of the UA’s HVACR service department said, “The addition of the PAHRA accredited HVACR educational programs to our 5 STAR Careers program will significantly expand our HVACR Service Technician recruitment efforts nationwide.”