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Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) CEO Talbot Gee testified in front of the Congressional Subcommittee on Innovation and Workforce Development on the growing HVACR workforce gap and overall talent shortage on June 4.
This testimony took place during a hearing on apprenticeships and training programs. Gee was asked to testify by Representative Troy Balderson, R-OH-12 after discussing this issue in a meeting during HARDI’s Congressional Fly-In which took place in late May. A formal written testimony was submitted to the subcommittee in addition to the verbal testimony. Gee focused his verbal presentation on the industry skills gap, the use of new media to attract talent, success of apprenticeships and training programs in the industry, and the bias against trade jobs.
"Overwhelmingly, the #1 issue affecting our industry for the past several years has been the difficulty recruiting talent," said Gee. “Most importantly from a business stand point it’s the single largest limiting factor to growth for distributors and contractors.”
Gee concluded his testimony by discussing some legislation that could potentially help with some of the talent recruitment issues the industry is facing today, including the 529 Options Act, the Working Families Flexibility Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.