Falls Church, Va. — With building a qualified workforce for tomorrow a hallmark of PHCC’s mission, its Educational Foundation, together with CONTRACTOR Magazine, proudly presented the 2014 Plumbing Instructor of the Year Award to Bradley Harding. The honor, which salutes those who dedicate their careers to enriching the lives of their students, was awarded during CONNECT 2014, PHCC’s convention and tradeshow, held last week in New Orleans.
Harding is the sole plumbing and HVAC instructor at the groundbreaking Energy Services and Technology Program at Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) in Fairfield, Maine. Nominated for the award by PHCC of Maine, Harding is credited with building the KVCC plumbing program from the “ground up” – establishing the school’s plumbing shop, materials, curriculum, and even student base. The nomination stated that Harding’s “time commitment is unmatched, and he is very conscientious and thorough to make sure he does right by his students,” even going the “extra distance” this year to help students secure summer employment for more real-world experience.
A 30-year industry veteran, Harding embarked on his teaching career with a passion for innovation and a philosophy of “students first.” At KVCC, he has created a state-of-the-art facility for hands-on learning in basic plumbing and HVAC installations, plus renewable and new technologies like geothermal, wood-burning applications, and solar thermal.
Harding continually practices problem-based learning and brings real-world situations into the classroom, often inviting industry speakers – manufacturers, inspectors, and contractors – to share their knowledge so that his students understand all aspects of the trade.
In addition, Harding helped establish the Energy Services and Technology Program Advisory Council, a group of more than 20 industry and educational professionals who provide guidance on current trends and recommend any curriculum changes to his program. Says PHCC Educational Foundation Plumbing Apprentice and Journeyman Training Committee Chair Richard Kerzetski, “Brad goes above-and-beyond to not only ensure his students are equipped with the very best educational resources but also to model the highest degree of professionalism, truly leading by example. He’s a gem in the industry.”