National HVAC trade group expands Penn College engagement
Representatives of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, which established its first student chapter at Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2003, recently visited to enhance that campus connection.
ACCA is a national trade association furthering the interests of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry – providing educational programs, training and information for a network of member contractors, and developing a variety of industry standards.
“Penn College is home to one of ACCA’s first and most active student chapters,” said Sean Robertson, the organization’s vice president of membership and business operations. “We were thrilled to tour the college’s newly expanded labs and discuss all the ways ACCA can support member schools, including full membership access for students at no additional cost.”
Student chapter members have access to ACCA staff and other members for networking, continuing education and on-site engagement/presentations; the ACCA career center; the student/faculty forum for member schools; workforce development resources; internship opportunities with member contractors; and discounted registration for trainings and conferences.
Robertson was accompanied by Matt Levinson, member services coordinator, and Shelly Matter, who serves on ACCA’s membership committee and is director of business development for HB McClure (a Penn College Corporate Tomorrow Maker partner).
Joining them on the tour were Ellyn A. Lester, assistant dean of construction and architectural technologies; Jason W. Killinger, assistant professor and department head for HVAC technology; and faculty colleagues Marc E. Bridgens, associate professor of HVAC technology, and Kenneth E. Welker Jr., instructor of plumbing and heating.
“Our students have benefited greatly from our ongoing relationship over the years, but now – after meeting with Sean, Matt and Shelly – we've had an opportunity to construct an even stronger relationship with the ACCA,” Lester said. “The activities we planned during our meeting will help our faculty and students for many years to come. I can't wait to see the results!”
Those discussions included how to enhance the value of Penn College’s ACCA membership; the college’s partnership for air conditioning, heating and refrigeration accreditation; development of a commercial HVAC lab; new products influencing the industry’s direction; ACCA event opportunities for faculty and students and increased engagement with their partner contractors; and offering more ACCA resources for students and their academic school.
“We greatly appreciate ACCA’s commitment to Penn College,” said Chris S. Macdonald, assistant director of corporate relations. “The resources and networking opportunities they offer provide an advantage for our students to achieve rewarding careers in the HVAC industry. We look forward to this continued partnership, and welcome more engagement with the ACCA team and their industry partners.”
Penn College’s School of Engineering Technologies offers a bachelor’s degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning engineering technology; an associate degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; and a certificate in plumbing. For more, call 570-327-4520.
For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit www.pct.edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 800-367-9222.
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America is the nation’s premier trade association for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration contractors. ACCA fights for contractors on Capitol Hill and delivers tangible member benefits to help every member of your team learn business and technical skills, connect with best-in-class peers, and access tools to grow your bottom line. ACCA has created the nationally recognized and industry-endorsed standards needed to ensure HVACR systems are properly installed and maintained.
– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor
Macdonald talks with the day's visitors while on familiar turf as a symbiotic liasion between the college and its supportive corporate partners.
Bridgens (right), who was among the initial advisers when the college's ACCA student chapter was formed, greets Levinson (shaking hands) and Robertson. A dean of construction and design technologies before returning to the classroom and lab in January 2018, Bridgens accompanied HVAC students to a number of national ACCA conferences over the years.
Welker (left) stepped away from a contemporaneous assignment – as a judge for the SkillsUSA high school competition being held on campus – to connect with Matter and Robertson.
Touring the spacious, industry-responsive instructional facilities
Killinger (right), department head for HVAC, joins Levinson (left) and Robertson in the Carl Building Technologies Center lab.