Taylor Wansing, a Brinktown, Missouri, Marine Corp veteran and student at State Technical College of Missouri earned one of hilmor’s Retool Your Future Scholarship that included an expense paid trip to the 2019 AHR Expo, Jan. 14-19, in Atlanta.
He used the trip to good measure when he won first place in hilmor’s 2019 Fastest Hands in HVAC/R Challenge. It was the first time a scholarship winner had won the contest.
“The HVAC field has saved my life,” Wansing wrote in the essay that earned him the scholarship. “After leaving the only world I’ve ever known in the military, I had lost my purpose in life. But the variety of different avenues in this trade put the decision of what I want to do and where I want to work back into my hands. I want nothing more out of this career than to help my neighbors in need.”
Now in its third year, the competition, held at hilmor’s booth during the 2019 AHR Expo, timed participants on their ability to complete swaging and other common HVAC/R repair and installation tasks using a variety of hilmor tools, including three new products introduced at this year’s Expo. More than 230 participants vied for the “fastest hands” title during the Expo on the first two days of the Expo that culminated with the top 16 qualifiers competing head-to-head.
Wansing’s first-place prize was $1,000 in hilmor tools.
Michael Turnage of MW Services Inc. in Temecula, California, captured second place and received $500 in hilmor tools. Scot Olah of White Sands Mechanical in Gulf Breeze, Florida and Vondragus Johnson of DHR Mechanical in Sanford, Florida tied for third place and each received $300 in hilmor tools.
(First-place winner Taylor Wansing is shown second from the left in our accompanying photo. The other winners are third-place winners Scot Olah and Vondragus Johnson and second-place winner Michael Turnage.)
“This competition is always a great way for HVAC/R technicians to get a hands-on experience working with our newest product innovations and have some fun,” said DiversiTech Brand Director Andrea Halpin. “We thank all who participated, including our finalists and our first place winner, Taylor. We hope the scholarship and the tools will further retool his future into a successful HVAC/R career.”
hilmor, a brand of the DiversiTech family and a manufacturer of tools for HVAC/R technicians, also announced the recipients of the 2019 Retool Your Future scholarship contest at a press event Jan. 14.
Established to support the next generation of HVAC/R technicians, the Retool Your Future competition awards five winners a $5,000 scholarship. Each winner also receives a starter kit of hilmor tools, a trip to this year’s AHR EXPO and a Green Wall Merchandising Display for their school.
Now in its sixth year, the program is available to current HVAC/R students in the U.S. and Canada who are enrolled or accepted into an established, recognized HVAC/R training school.
Since its inception, more than 2,500 students from more than 300 trade schools have applied for the program with essays of up to 250 words describing how the HVAC/R industry will “retool their life.”
Winners are selected by a panel of judges based on how their essay describes how HVAC/R school is helping them start a new life, how they are preparing for a career in the industry and how they are committed to education.
“This year’s winners are shining examples of how our industry and education can drive positive change and new career possibilities,” Halpin said. “We are honored to showcase each winner’s unique story and support their professional growth as they enter the HVAC/R field.”
In addition to Wansing, here are the four other 2019 Retool Your Future winners along with excerpts of their essays:
Entries for next year’s Retool Your Future contest will be accepted on Sept. 1. More information about the award is available at www.retoolyourfuture.com