Pennsylvania association launches training facility, program

September 21, 2021 By    
Photo: Pennsylvania Petroleum Association

The Pennsylvania Petroleum Association opened a new training facility for technicians with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo: Pennsylvania Petroleum Association

The Pennsylvania Petroleum Association (PPA) launched a larger technical facility.

In addition, the association says it introduced a 10-week training program and a scholarship named for long-time industry leader Robert V. Boltz.

According to the association, all three initiatives will create a pathway to well-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians and a pipeline of highly qualified technicians for companies servicing the state’s residential and commercial comfort systems.

PPA showcased its expanded training facility, the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association Technical Education Center (PPATEC), at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The facility offers technicians real-world practice troubleshooting and repairing a range of heating and cooling systems appliances and training simulators. The hands-on training area includes 1,500 sq. ft. of lab space and more than 30 live-fire HVAC systems.

The updated PPATEC facility also includes new classroom space with upgraded visual training capabilities, the association says.

Ted Harris, PPA executive vice president, notes that the facility expansion was possible due to donations and support from member companies and other industry stakeholders.

“For over 35 years, PPA has offered technical training, serving thousands of trade professionals who honed their skills under expert instruction,” Harris says. “The expanded PPATEC facility better positions the association to offer valuable, life-changing instruction to even more Pennsylvanians in the years to come.”

PPA also offered details on its new training program, which has received formal private licensed school approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The 10-week program will recruit new technicians into the industry, offering training on oil heat, propane, gas and more. According to the association, graduates will receive industry certifications NORA, CETP and EPA 608.

Once individuals complete the program, they will have the opportunity to be hired by PPA and PPATEC member companies. The PPA plans to host its first 10-week class next year.

Michael DeBerdine, CEO of Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Rhoads Energy and PPA propane committee chairman, says the expanded propane instruction will benefit the industry and the state’s homeowners.

“Today, about 40 percent of PPA members market propane products to thousands of homes,” DeBerdine says. “The PPATEC expansion includes training for propane-fired HVAC equipment and appliances, which will help us serve the growing market for propane.”

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About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) was the managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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