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Saying No to College and Yes to a Successful Future

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Skilled Trades Are Gaining Popularity & How Reiner Group, Inc. is Supporting this Choice

A great story about the value of knowing a trade comes from one of our own employees. He grew up with a father who was an auto mechanic. He knew the importance of sharing his technical knowledge with his son. When our employee was in high school, he was degraded by his English teacher who told him he would never “go anywhere” if he didn’t do well in academic classes. A few weeks later, he was walking through the parking lot of the school and saw his English teacher looking at the engine of his car. He saw the look of frustration on the teacher’s face and asked him if he was having a problem. The teacher told him he wasn’t sure; it just wouldn’t start. Our employee worked on the car for only a few minutes, then told the teacher to start the engine. It roared to life. He looked at the teacher and said, “If I wasn’t here you would be the one not ‘going anywhere’.”

Let’s face the truth. Some people are not interested in a traditional college education and that’s ok! For generations parents, teachers and guardians have pressured the youth of America to go to college so they could “make something” of their lives. The truth is there are many other paths someone can take to be successful and happy in their life and career. A career they will actually love. This is why more people are choosing to go into a trade such as heating and air conditioning (HVAC).

College tuitions for a four-year degree are skyrocketing. Students are weighed down with outrageous student loans after graduation. They need to find jobs that can help them pay back these debts, but the jobs aren’t always there. Most skilled labor programs only take two years to complete, cost a fraction of a college education and offer more opportunities for internship and apprenticeship programs. These programs can lead to guaranteed, well-paying employment after graduation. They also allow potential for growth and promotion within a chosen trade. Additionally, workers will be given the opportunity to earn certifications and licenses that could further their career and take them into a comfortable retirement. It’s never too early to plan!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics Report the employment rate among installation, maintenance and repair occupations is well above the rate of “desk jobs” and pays a better hourly wage.

Mechanic and installer jobs are expected to grow 15% between 2016 and 2026. With an aging workforce ready to retire within the next 10 years, there are more skilled labor jobs available than there are people to fill them!

Reiner Group, Inc. sees the importance of these skilled workers and has recently started an internship program with Bergen County Technical Schools Adult and Continuing Education and the State of NJ. You can see the video about the program here:

We are excited to have the opportunity to work with students who are driven to be a part of the heating and air conditioning industry. Not only do we give them experience in the field, but we also have the opportunity to find future Reiner Group employees!

Interns who participate in the program must maintain a specific GPA. They must also complete 75 hours of technical courses. Once they fulfill the requirements and are accepted, they begin working in our Installation and Service Departments.

During their time with the Installation Department, interns shadow our technicians and learn by observation and some hands on experience. They become knowledgeable on how to remove and install furnaces, boilers, ductless splits and heat pumps. Plus, they get basic experience in electrical and plumbing applications. This not only builds on the HVAC training they receive in school, but gives them additional skills if they decided to expand into another trade.

Interns then continue with the Service Department. Here they shadow our technicians as they perform preventative maintenance and repairs on residential and commercial heating and air conditioning equipment. It is important to have experience with both types of equipment as all of our service technicians are counted on to help in both areas when necessary.

At the conclusion of the program, Reiner will make a determination on which interns will continue to work with the company. Decisions based on manager feedback and reports given by our technicians. We set high expectations for those who join our team. We not only look for candidates who shows great technical abilities, but also someone who is reliable, respectful and has integrity.

Reiner Group supports skilled trade workers and are taking the steps to help prepare students for a future in HVAC. If you decide to go into a trade instead of college, don’t think of it as an “alternative choice”. Think of it instead as a better choice. Do what is best for you.

If you are an Adult Continuing Education Technical School and are interested in becoming involved in an internship program with Reiner, please contact us at (201) 371-7980 or

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