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Advance Mechanical hosts students from South Central

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South Central High School students listen to Tim Hatch, sales representative for Trane out of the Raleigh office, speak at Advance Mechanical. From left are Hunter Wagner, Tre Smith, Daron Johnson, Jakari Baize and Xzavier Blango.

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The Daily Reflector

Monday, January 9, 2017

Advance Mechanical, a locally owned and operated HVAC company by Randy Riddle, hosted 24 students from South Central High School’s carpentry program in December at its plant in Greenville.

This is the second year Riddle has hosted students from the school as a part of an effort to recruit, hire and train young employees. The HVAC industry is facing a shortage of employees with the skills necessary for companies to meet growing demand for their products and services as their employees age out and retire.

Trane’s area salesman for the Raleigh office, Tim Hatch, was on hand to talk with the students. Last spring, Trane donated a unit for Riddle to use to demonstrate the installation process in the carpentry classroom at South Central.

Riddle and a technician visited the classroom weekly to walk students through the installation. Interested students then applied to work at Advance Mechanical during the summer. Five students were selected.

“We are hoping one or more of those students will want to work for us full time when they graduate from South Central,” Rachel Davis, manager of operations and marketing at the company, said. “This program is a way for us to give back to the community through working with students to expose them to work place expectations.”

Teacher Stephen Allen said, “I can tell students about what is expected on job sites, but hearing it straight from the source is a lot more powerful.”

Betsy Flanagan, a newly elected member of the Pitt County school board, attended the presentation.

“I want Pitt County Schools to do more to help our employers in Pitt County by finding and marketing other opportunities like this to our students and partnering with our businesses to develop programs that allow students to be successful while providing employers skilled employees who can earn and provide for their families and ultimately improve Pitt County and our economy,” Flanagan said.

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