All signs are pointing to an improving economy and positive growth in employment, especially with up to 95 million Baby Boomers either retiring or changing work focus. The challenge now is finding and training workers to meet the skilled labor needs of the plumbing and HVACR industry.
Fortunately, the PHCC Educational Foundation offers one of the most comprehensive and accredited programs – a four-year apprentice curriculum – and businesses across the country continue to rely on our curriculum, textbooks and other training materials. Why?
• PHCC’s materials are developed by a team of contractors, educators, and code experts to meet the needs of contractors in providing a knowledgeable technician by the end of PHCC’s apprentice training program. Conversely, the competition’s curriculum is designed for what general contractors want plumbing and HVAC technicians to know.
• With code a big curriculum issue, the Educational Foundation works with code experts on our series to ensure that we are accurate across all three model codes. Our upcoming enhanced lesson plans are being geared to include references for all of the model codes.
• The Foundation’s curriculum is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.
• Our textbooks are updated on a regular basis. In fact, we continuously encourage feedback on the entire apprentice program from instructors and then incorporate valid changes based on that feedback.
• Instructor materials include PowerPoint presentations that instructors can use along with the lesson plans to ensure the subject is adequately covered. Test banks are also provided to provide a means of assessing student knowledge of the material covered.
• Programs – including those shorter than the four-year curriculum – can be customized. With four separate textbooks, you can tailor PHCC’s series to meet your local requirements. For example, for a two-year short course, you can determine what needs to be covered in those two years and pull from the appropriate books/materials. Be sure to consider, however, the number of classroom instruction hours required by your state.
PHCC realizes that some apprentices live in areas not easily accessible to classroom training or have personal issues such as child or elder care that prevent them from attending traditional classroom training. With that, we offer an online course version of our curriculum, with our home study students’ employers receiving student progress reports on a monthly basis.
And, we are in the process of converting our plumbing textbooks to an eBook format option for those who prefer electronic means to a traditional textbook.
The Foundation’s plumbing assessment tests have undergone a rigorous validation process, similar to that of ACT, GRE, and other standardized tests. Available through the National Occupational & Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Business Solutions section, these tests assess what students should know at the end of each of the four years of apprenticeship instruction, as determined by a team of instructors, contractors, and code experts.
On the HVAC side, the Industry Competency Exam (ICE), offered by AHRI, serves as an excellent course-end test for graduating apprentices to ensure they have appropriate entry-level knowledge.
Both tests are offered online, and the results can be shared with the training program to help identify areas in which additional instruction may be needed. Students passing the assessments receive a certificate.
What’s on the Horizon?
Indeed, the Foundation’s training program is among the most comprehensive and competitive programs out there, made only better by continuing modifications based on industry needs and feedback from instructors, contractors, code officials, and other experts. Based on that, PHCC currently is in the process of developing even more detailed lesson plans along with references to external resources such as videos that can be incorporated into instruction.
Made for You!Look no further than the PHCC Educational Foundation to meet your educational needs … whether it’s a four-year apprentice program or a shorter-term requirement. Put our workshops, assessment tests, textbooks and other materials to work for you as – together – we train the future of our industry.
For more information, contact Merry Beth Hall, Director of Apprentice and Journeyman Training, at firstname.lastname@example.org.