SuperChill, do you know of any schools like yours (non profit) in the So Cal area ?
I'm in the Orange County area and am looking for a non profit school because most of the "for profit" schools suck. All they want is your $$ and hand you a piece of paper that says your qualified with little to NO help getting a real job. Any input from anyone on this would be greatly appreciated.
Here's a tip, learn spanish, You will greatly improve your possibilties for job placement after schooling.
Originally Posted by Urbanrider
I'll be honest, I have a lot of interest in someday starting or helping a non-profit HVAC school. I would focus on low income areas where it's "hard to find a job" and here's why. When kids grow up poor and with no apparent prospects there will almost always be one who gets the "hunger"(just look at the nfl, a lot of athletes are low income and found a way out), they desperately seek out a way to prove themselves and give great loyalty to someone who takes them in and mentors them, opens the door if you will. Anyone could apply to this school, they would be promised nothing or even lead to believe there was anything to be gained but a chance, the first month would be a brutal bootcamp, hottest part of the year, running, climbing, pulling things up onto platforms, nothing about HVAC except that you make it clear they know nothing, you yell at them with the intent of making them cry(sounds harsh I know), this would eliminate 50-75% by the end of the month but the ones that are left you at least know they can handle the physicality and the psychological mind fing that may not happen every day in this industry but it will happen at some point, if they are still there they get a shot at step 2.
By now you have beaten it into there heads during the earlier training that if they fail the upcoming drug test, they are fired. If they show up more than 15minutes late with no prior heads up, they are fired(I've been guilty of this but not when I was new). If they get on their phone during a non approved phone time, they are fired. By fired I mean you expell them from your program(everyone is welcome to come back and try again the next year). During step two you introduce them to residential HVAC equipment, in person with equipment that has been hopefully donated. You have a cut list of every part used on common equipment and you work through THEM finding that part and learning what it does, you tie this in with class time of diagrams and illustrations as well. Once they can visually identify every part, name what it does, and describe how it works, you turn on the equipment and now they SEE it operate, and start learning how those parts and functions interect. You take it one step at time, cut the blower off, what happens?, cut the condenser motor off, what happens?, lower the charge, what happens?, on and on and on. Once they can tell you how the parts work and how they relate you start polishing the prospects. They should already be cleaned up in appearance through all this but now you work on the resume and the interview. They will tell the interviewer abou their undying passion for this industry, they will tell the interviewer that they do what they are told with enthusiasm and to the best of ther abilities because they cherish the opportunity to have a career as wonderful as HVAC. In the background you would be networking with owners, letting them know about your program and that you are creating the best mold of new HVAC employees, hard working, reliable and willing to adapt. By only putting out graduates who are hungry for it and desperate to raise to the top your schools record will quickly speak for itself and owners will be calling YOU asking for who's ready.
There will even be some who couldn't hack it at first but after the wake up call that was your boot up their a** they might make it through after the 2nd attempt. Sometimes people just need a wakeup call to get moving.
If I've learned one thing in this industry, aside from that I know nothing, it's that the strongest(mentally, a little physically), most dedicated, and hungriest(knowledge, advancement) rise to the top and get through the adversity.
Now we just have to figure out a way to have good companies for these new hires to go to : )!
Thanks for your input everyone ,everytime I read your responses I get stronger as an instructor and my students benefit from your wisdom .
Unfortunately no , HVAC is a big money maker in schooling and no one wants to walk away from that
Since this thread has been called out of its tomb like Lazarus, let me add a little more.
Originally Posted by SuperChill
"Vetting" does not imply "elitism." It indicates "discernment."
Every medical and law school decides who will be admitted. In fact, every college worth a tinker's dam has some sort of metric that it uses to assure itself that the student body has what it considers to be the right complement of students. Many schools use "racial diversity" as a metric, or "gender equality." Of course, they have nothing to do with aptitude or ability to succeed in any given feild, but it makes the public and the school's trustees feel better about themselves. Sometime, we elect a President to make us feel better about ourselves, which is a very expensive proposition.
At any rate, the idea is that not every potential HVAC student should be that. Some should be something else, and to try and make them into HVAC grads is a waste of resources of time and money. It is better for all concerned to be mindful of the student who can benefit from a given program, versus those who cannot.
That's not elitism. It is survival of the species.
Most schools require a high school diploma, a 30 question multiple choice test you must get 17 right. And a check that wont bounce. Thats what it takes to get in. What should it take to graduate?
For me it is a candidate who is honest, dependable, can pass a drug test, has a clean driving record, can work safely and understands the field they are getting into requires hard work, long hours and a life time of learning. Trade schools should provide a solid foundation for the candidate to learn the basics of HVAC, but most of the learning will be done on the job. It's okay to make mistakes (we all do it every day) but learn from them and try not to make them again. A candidate should take pride in their work. Communication and appearance matter when dealing with customers and the company the technician will work for one day.
Following along with TB's thinking: Someone that is totally right-brained (non-technically minded), lets say someone who is SOOO 10 thumbed, they cannot even remember which way to turn a screwdriver to tighten or loosen... Is HVAC really a good place for them... OR,
Originally Posted by timebuilder
Would they be better (and as a result happier) as, say, a musician?
We have this idea anyone can do anything... yet we have totally ignored that folks are BORN with a bent towards certain things and a significant LACK of ability in other things.
Would it not be better if we found out what was the best thing for each person... and encouraged them in that direction?
NO, this is not profiling... it is actually in the best interest of the person.
I have truly learned that you can not look at someone and predict where they will end up. I have students from from every backround that you can think of but the one thing they share is that they could not qualify for the student loans and could not pay out of pocket. I am training women who you would never think would be great mechanics by looking at them.This forum is going to result in increased placements for my students because most people in the field dont participate or volunteer at there local trade schools and give no input.It it mandatory that we create an advisory council and get input from the real world but most guys dont want to get involved and that hurts all the new students that you will all have to train and teach once they leave the schools.
Thanks Atlas! I have a grooming and hygein policy for men in my program since most of my guys are 18-25 and never really been taught how much appearance matters .
Organization, honesty, not afraid to ask for help,
Well, I'm not suggesting that one should "look at" someone to determine their suitability.
Originally Posted by SuperChill
Some women have it in their nature to be good mechanics. That same nature makes them nurses, doctors, and engineers. So, most of the talented women will more likely end up in those other fields, because the fact that they have a talent set that is more often associated with males makes them more valuable, particularly in these days of enforced "equality."
I can spend a few hours with someone and be able to tell if they can mentally connect the dots, show the curiosity for science, and converse on technically oriented topics when they have not even begun to study those topics. If they are not that guy, then yes, they can be mechanics, but they will be mediocre mechanics.
Here is the key:
the industry must be willing to properly compensate its best people. If it remains as it is now, those who COULD be good mechanics will never enter the field, because those other jobs have a better future.
Nurses, doctors, engineers.......
Now I ask you, if we fail to recruit the right people.... who will be the future of this industry?