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SkillsUSA shows bright future

You’ve told us how important trade schools are for the future of the HVAC/R industry. This inspired us to create the Retool Your Future program, which was announced at the SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City last week.

SkillsUSA is an organization that is comprised of secondary and post-secondary students, advisors and instructors working together to help ensure our country has a skilled workforce. And after spending a week with these kids, we’re happy to report that our workforce will be in very good hands.


Obviously, we were most keen on the HVAC/R competition at SkillsUSA. Students from throughout the country competed by engaging in a variety of tasks that HVAC/R techs face each day. Students were observed and judged by professionals from within the industry.



We’d like to congratulate post-secondary gold medalist Brock Miesner of Linn State Technical College in Linn, Mo., and high school gold medalist Daniel Blizman from Platt Technical High School in Milford, Conn. Each winner received $1,000 in hilmor tools, the second-place finishers received $500 in hilmor tools and third place took home $300 in hilmor tools. All also took home quite a haul of other HVAC/R tools to prepare them for their future jobs.



Here are a few of our favorite images from SkillsUSA this year. We were happy to be a part of it with our sister companies IRWIN and LENOX, and look forward to being a part of this incredible competition in the future.



We introduced a lot of future techs and instructors to our tools. Our new Electronic Gauge with Vacuum Sensor got plenty of interest.



During the competition, HVAC/R students were put through a number of scenarios they would likely see in the field. Here, a student gets fired up to braze a tube.



Judges, all of whom work in the HVAC/R industry, worked closely to watch and score each student at their various stations.



Our sister company, LENOX Tools, provided some of the tools the HVAC/R competitors used during the SkillsUSA competition.



On Wednesday, the Amazing Race competition was held. Picture a big scavenger hunt throughout the giant convention center. The hilmor and IRWIN booth was the first stop. Students had to correctly match tools with their benefit statement in order to progress to the next stop.



All week, we welcomed plenty of new faces into our booth that we shared with our sister brand, IRWIN Tools. We never get tired of introducing our products to people, especially aspiring HVAC/R professionals.