2019 Journeyman Graduates Recognized at RACCA Banquet
The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association, Tampa Bay (RACCA) recognized the 2019 Journeyman graduates at a banquet held May 19, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore Hotel and Conference Center. Completers of the fifth-year commercial refrigeration class, apprentices of the year and those with perfect attendance were also recognized. Twenty-four Journeymen graduated from the 4-year Heating and Air Conditioning Installer/Servicer program and there were eight completers of the 5-year Refrigeration Mechanic program this year.
RACCA President Bryan Wade began the meeting summarizing the history of the Apprenticeship Program and introduced the Guest Speaker, 2019 Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association President and CEO of Johnson’s Air Conditioning in Naples, Rick Sims.
Rick congratulated the graduates on their achievements and recognized the companies, families and students for their commitment to the program. He related the impact having well-trained employees had on his business and how important it is to continue learning as one progresses in their career. Rick stressed how valuable a journeyman graduate is to their employer, citing that statistics show only 1 out 5 enrollees in the programs makes it to graduation. “We can’t hire people off the street with the skills and competency you have acquired,” he stated. “Tonight we’re going to celebrate and tomorrow your journey begins.” Rick went on to describe the origins of apprenticeship in western Europe hundreds of years ago. When apprentices completed their training and became ‘journeymen’, they had to travel the countryside and use their skills until they gained enough experience to be accepted as ‘craftsmen’ in their trades. “Remember as you go to pay it back, help those who follow you by sharing the knowledge you have gained.”
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2019 Florida HVAC Insider Journeyman Award to Taylor Craig. The Journeyman Award recognizes the outstanding graduate of the 4-year apprenticeship program, based on the highest grade point average, attendance record, number of Apprentice of the Month Awards received and the best OJT timecard record over the four years.
Fourth year 2019 graduates are Brendan Barry, Mike Blanchard, Justin Bonner, Michael Carcich, Nicolas Chase, Kalvin Coley, Taylor Craig, Josean Cruz-Rodriguez, Eddie Davis Arben Hashani, Eric Henry, Noel Hernandez, David Huhn, Brian Kirkland, Brian Landers, Daniel McHenry, Jr., Luis Miranda, Ben Rasico, Michael Scrogham, Luciano Silipo, Grant Springer, Steven Van Hoose, Richard Warnell and Robert Wasilewski.
2019 fifth year completers are Andres Aponte, David Chaney, Fred Fulford, Jonathan Harden, Doug Holuba, Harold Mootoo, Victor Rivera, Robert Vigo and Evan Wey.
Congratulations to the apprenticeship instructors: Henry Barclay and Keane Bismarck (1st year), Jack Hurley and J.C. Jannarone (2nd year), Jack Carson and Jason Saylor (3rd year), Loren Wunderle (4th year and Wayne Carothers (5th year).
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