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Inside Perspective

By Greg McKool

My name is Greg McKool, I’ve met many of you already. I have worked for the last 38 years at two different spirits distributors in Georgia as a sales rep calling on retail package stores. It has been a real interesting business with a lot of changes over the years.

Alabama Director, Greg McKool
Alabama Director, Greg McKool

I am the new Director in Alabama for the HVAC Insider News. I have only been here for a short while, but have enjoyed this new job tremendously. This is a great industry. I’ve met some fantastic people on my travels throughout Alabama and am looking forward to meeting more people in this interesting business. Please call me with your stories, want ads, and training. This is your newspaper and I’m here to help you get your message out.

There are many keys to success in life such as communication, persistence, and passion, just to name a few.

One of the main keys to success is training. Without proper training you could be spinning your wheels getting nowhere fast. We have been hammered by the media that a four-year degree is the only way to success but we all know that’s not true in many cases. I’ve seen many people with college degrees with no career because of a saturated market for their major degree and a large student loan to payoff.

What we don’t have enough of are skilled tradesman. “We have a skills gap in the country. Many of the best opportunities today require a skill, not a diploma,” says Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs, pointing to the fact there are fewer and fewer skilled tradesmen – carpenters, HVAC technicians/installers, plumbers, pipefitters, welders, etc. – every year.

As our unemployment hovers near historic lows, over 80% of construction firms have reported they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire, while the U.S. Department of Education reports that there will be 68% more job openings for infrastructure-related fields in the next five years than there are people training to fill them.

In the great state of Alabama, we have some of the finest HVAC private schools, manufacturer/distributor labs and state technical training centers in America. They are extremely busy training the next generation of skilled HVAC technicians that everyone needs so badly. There are two recent openings of new training schools in Alabama.

BTrained has opened a new HVAC training facility in Birmingham. BTrained is a technical mentorship program formed by Brian Byrom in 2016.

Alabama Power and Bevill State Community College recently partnered a new HVAC training facility in Jasper. The facility is the first of its kind to provide training on multiple types and brands of HVAC equipment.

It seems the current administration is doing a pretty good job of bringing back manufacturing companies and that means a bigger demand for skilled craftsman to grow our country.

We need to keep putting training to the forefront for all the contractors who are looking for skilled technicians.


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