HOULTON, Maine — Starting this autumn, the subsequent era of plumbers will be able to begin the lengthy adventure on their favored profession direction.
Thanks to a collaborative attempt between the Region Two Career and Technical Education Center in Houlton and Harbison Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, a brand new mechanical offerings direction might be supplied to area high college students.
Region Two Director Dave Keaton said he has had a hobby in adding a plumbing and heating course on the career center, positioned in Houlton, for multiple years. As destiny might have it, he was approached with the aid of a nearby businessman, David Harbison, Jr., proprietor of Harbison Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning of Houlton, about the possibility of becoming a member of forces.
“Dave came in just about the time I become on the brink of a survey the students as to what packages they’re inquisitive about,” Keaton said. “The timing virtually become uncanny due to the fact this turned into something I was thinking about for a while.”
“I assume it’s miles a honest declaration to make that everybody who owns or works within the trades industry of any kind is aware of how difficult it’s miles to locate, not only qualified workers, but any people at all which might be inquisitive about being hired in the trades,” Harbison said in his written inspiration to Region Two. “I agree with that the fast and long term solutions to this trouble start at the excessive school stage. It is of utmost importance to introduce those trades in our neighborhood Regional School of Applied Technology.”
The trouble of space was a hassle, however, that saved ordinary whenever Keaton started to think about how to contain a new mechanical services software on the faculty.
“We have essentially run out of space in this constructing,” he stated.
Harbison supplied a solution — hosting the elegance at his commercial enterprise, located at 98 Bangor St. The route will be the simplest application of its type supplied north of Bangor.
“I for my part experience that that is an incredible opportunity for enterprise and training to network together to restore challenging trouble all of us face — a lack of an available team of workers,” Harbison stated. “It is likewise my opinion that the next pool of to be had tradespeople are currently novices in excessive faculty. That’s far away, but we need to get this effort began now.”
Interest within the new providing already appears to be high with the students, who hail from Houlton Middle-High, Hodgdon Middle-High, East Grand, Southern Aroostook, and Katahdin colleges.
“Every year, we do new software surveys to determine if there are different packages we will offer,” Keaton said. “We discovered 39 youngsters that have been certainly interested in this route.”
Unfortunately, Keaton said that a good way to acquire country investment for a new path, 60 percent of the pupil population had to specify an interest within the software. The 39 college students who have been interested handiest make up 12.38 percentage.
To get this system off the ground, the two men decided to make it a pilot software, with a fundraising campaign used to help cowl the expense of equipment and a teacher’s salary.