PHCC has a long history of helping plumbing, heating and cooling contractors be the best in the business. We celebrate those who instill that passion for excellence in the next generation and this year’s Plumbing Instructor of the Year, Robert Hahn of HoHoKus School of Trade & Technical Sciences in Paterson, New Jersey is a perfect example.
Hahn is a partner at All Season Energy Services LLC, serves on the PHCC Plumbing Apprentice Committee, and is chairman of the national Skills USA plumbing contest. Several years ago Hahn developed and ran a successful PHCC of New Jersey apprentice contest based on the SkillsUSA model. This experience led him to become a technical expert for Skills USA and help train competitors. His 28 years as a vocational school instructor as well as his qualifications as a master plumber equipped him to take students all the way to WorldSkills International.
“The main thing I stress for any of my apprentice competitors is to make it fun,” Hahn said. “It’s just like a job. When a problem crops up, you just have to fix it.”
As an industry veteran with a master’s degree in vocational education, Hahn has tremendous insight into the importance of providing apprenticeship programs for the next generation.
“Training the next generation is so important,” he said. “We’re at a point in the industry where our plumbers are getting older and getting near retirement. We just don’t have the replacements we need.”
Hahn’s reputation for treating his students with respect and for showing genuine interest in their questions and concerns means he is able to help each to refine their strengths and amend their weaknesses.
He sees the necessity of preparing students for life after graduation and facilitates this by treating them like employees rather than students. He expects them to be punctual, efficient, and to not just work hard, but work smart. Every student surveyed stated they were grateful to have been under his leadership and instruction.
Hahn’s professionalism is an inspiration to his students who not only admire him for his extensive knowledge but also for his work ethic, character and pursuit of excellence.