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Trade Association Presents Prestigious Training Award to College


Marc E. Bridgens, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, is surrounded by six Penn College students at ACCA awards presentation.Pennsylvania College of Technology has received an “Excellence in Training” award from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America the nation’s largest trade association for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration contracting businesses marking the first time an educational institution was singled out for the honor.

The Jeff Forker Award for Excellence in Training, named for a longtime industry advocate with a passion for education and certification, was presented at ACCA’s 2005 Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo in Austin, Texas, earlier this month.

“ACCA is pleased to present this year’s Jeff Forker Award for Excellence in Training to Penn College,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, association president and CEO. “The school’s HVAC programs do a phenomenal job of training the future of our industry.” In addition, Penn College students were invited to conduct a workshop at next year’s event (in San Jose, Calif.) on a topic of their choosing.

“This speaks well for all of us that they would think that much of our program,” said Marc E. Bridgens, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, who noted that the award typically goes to someone in the contracting field.

The honor is accorded an ACCA member who has championed education and training initiatives and who has made outstanding progress in raising the industry’s professional standards. About 400 business leaders, among more than 1,000 corporate representatives on hand for the four-day conference, attended the meeting at which the award was presented.

Bridgens accompanied five students in Penn College’s HVAC Technology bachelor-degree major: Eric J. Hager, Mars; Christopher R. Johnson, Tyrone; Brian D. Woods, Industry; Amanda L. Button, Mountain Top; and Lars N. Nielsen, Stow, Mass.; and one in its Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology associate-degree major: Michael R. Whiting, Liberty.

For more information about ACCA, visit the organization’s Web site.

More about the HVAC majors at Penn College is available online or by calling the School of Construction and Design Technologies at (570) 327-4518.

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