It’s the end of a jam-packed year for our Mission: HVAC 2018 students! To close out their time in the program, we asked each student to reflect on their year and share their favorite (and least favorite!) experiences, in addition to suggestions and advice for next year’s participants.

Congratulations to Stefan, Glenn, and Jackson for your hard work and dedication to taking on the challenges of each mission this year and demonstrating your passion for the HVAC trade. Each of you has already made an impact on the skilled trades gap by spreading a positive message about the great opportunities that exist in the HVAC industry and by speaking to your peers about these rewarding careers.

Here’s to a New Year and the 5-year anniversary of Mission: HVAC!

Stefan: Time Flies

Wow! How fast a year goes by, especially when you are having fun. When I try to step outside of myself and reflect on the enormity of the tasks undertaken this year, I glean a huge smile in part that the Shurtape missions played in it.

As an older person who decided to transition into a new field of expertise I was able to use these missions and tasks set forth as an instrumental tool in looking at the trade outside of the box. I cannot express how beneficial these ideas truly were. When you are trying make up ground on a subject it can honestly turn into a whirlwind swirling around at an excessive clip. Having an outside influence to slow things down, ask key questions and enable a whole different perspective of what the true goals are in beyond intrinsic measures is incredible. I cannot express the debt of gratitude I feel in words. In a world that struggles with connecting and intimately helping individuals, this program excelled at both. One of the key ideals in business is to create a raving fan of your business model – and Shurtape has created a lifelong and raving fan out of me.

My favorite missions are parallel with my missions I recommend to next years’ class. Truly try to look forward into where the trade is heading, what technology is bringing to the table and how those changes will not only affect yourself, but the future turns in the road for this great trade. Do these assignments with an open mind and get much more out of them than the scholarship’s monetary value, as these tasks can open up new connections and avenues that can truly help be the seeds of change and growth in your life.

I wish I could say that these tasks where challenging in ways other than the mental aspects of putting results into a written form, but I cannot. The excitement that came with this whole program made each task a complete pleasure and were able to be tackled with a zestful energy.

The only advice or addition I would possibly recommend is to find a month or mission that would pair together us as a small group like two or more and have us reflect and tackle a mission together. I believe that could be difficult, but also very beneficial in allowing the group to become an entity together even if for just the month’s task. It could make a difference in someone else’s life for instance, if I was directly to have been able to share my passion for this trade and this program with the corollary of this program’s connection involved.

I would like to thank everyone that was involved to make this experience possible, and assure those people that what you are doing here is truly great and very effective. Good luck to all, and I look forward to keeping my finger on the pulse of this dynamic you all have created. Namaste’.

Glenn: Up for the Challenge

When I applied for Mission: HVAC, I believe I said I was up for a challenge. And I got one. Stepping out of my comfort zone at times. Interviewing business owners. Asking questions of instructors on mission related topics. Coming up with photo ideas for each mission. Trying to work on missions between homework, working and all the crazy things that happen at home. It has been a busy year. However, I do have a sense of being more involved within HVAC and doing tasks I most likely wouldn’t do if I wasn’t involved.
Mission 7 was the most beneficial to me. Shortage of skilled labor is something that is covered in class discussions but hearing it from a business owner and hearing how serious it is really drives the point home. Mission 8 was the most challenging. The future of HVAC mission took more research than most of the missions. Mission 2 was the easiest. This was to interview my instructor and transcribe what was discussed. I really don’t have any recommendations to improve next year’s missions, I think the missions cover most aspects of the HVAC industry. My advice for the years next year’s HVAC students is to review the mission when you first receive it, think about it for a week or two and start making mental notes on what you want to write about. It worked for me.

I want to thank Shurtape for selecting me for the missions and Lydia Eagle for her support.

Thanks Again!

Jackson: Understanding the Skills Gap

I enjoyed Mission 2, which was an interview with one of my professors. I found this to be the most beneficial mission to me because it gave me a chance to talk with him and get some insight on topics that we otherwise might not have talked about. Some of the most significant things I learned from these missions were regarding employment in the HVAC industry. I never truly understood what the “skills gap” was before I started this program. I believe it is very important for our generation to become interested in the trades.

I didn’t find any of the missions to be over bearing or difficult. I believe the easiest Mission was the Mission 1, because I truly love telling the story of my family’s business and how I decide to get into the trade. A Mission that could possibly be interesting is to ask the participants to set up a mock interview with a local HVAC contractor. They would benefit by knowing what to expect when it comes time for a real interview.

I think overall this program is setup very well. I am very glad that I was able to participate because it has given me an opportunity to continue my education that otherwise might not have had.

As far as advice for next year’s students, I would just tell them to get everything done as soon as they can. Once you receive a due date it would be a smart idea to add it to your calendar on some sort of device so that you will get a reminder at least 3 days before.