The 2008 HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop, which is endorsed by 14 industry groups, featured numerous plumbing-specific technical sessions March 5-7 in Lansdowne, Va.

The 2008 HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop, sponsored by ACCA, AHRI, CARE, HARDI, NATE, PHCC Educational Foundation, RSES, SkillsUSA, andthe Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration NEWS, welcomed more than 320 attendees to Lansdowne, Va., March 5-7. This annual event was also endorsed by AMCA, IAQA, NADCA, NAFA and RPA* ― for a total of 14 industry groups.

The opening session featured Dana C. Daugherty from the Employment & Training Administration (ETA) in the U.S. Department of Labor and Angie Garcia Falconetti from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE).

Daugherty discussed how the apprenticeship system directly addresses the workforce shortage in the HVACR and plumbing professions. He also dove into future plans for the ETA, which includes the use of technology in talent development and responding to the needs of the industry.

Faclonetti explained some of the goals of OVAE, which include accessibility and affordability to post secondary and career education, as well as to provide workforce development and foster career pathways in high growth industries, such as construction.

In the closing session, Tim Lawrence, Executive Director for SkillsUSA, provided a legislative update. This included information on how to advocate for career and technical education on Capitol Hill due to the elimination of Perkins funding in the President’s proposed FY2009 budget.

The workshop featured numerous HVACR and plumbing-specific technical sessions, with topics ranging from technology updates, new training tools, “green” water heating to assessing student learning and connecting students with careers. 

In addition to opportunities for networking and the fun “I’ve Got an Idea” session, the workshop brought together 33 company and nine sponsor exhibitors with tabletop exhibits.

Also during the conference, the 2008 HVACR Instructor of the Year award was presented by The NEWS senior editor Mark Skaer to Bernie Merkel of Rochester, N.Y., Director of Service Training for the International Training Institute in Alexandria, Va.

2008 Plumbing Instructor of the Year was presented to Jack Herrick, an instructor at Minuteman Regional Vocational High School in Lexington, Mass.

This was the 13th HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop in this series. The 2009 event will take place March 11-13 at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va.