My first year
It’s been an entire year since I entered the industry. During that year, I have learned a ton and as a bonus was able to participate in some amazing things. There have been a few highlights that stand out.
The first was my debut conference – the annual Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) conference in Whistler, B.C. last September. I learned about what was going on the industry at the various seminars and even got to beat my boss at target shooting at Olympic Park.
Back in May 2018, I was assigned my very first article which was to interview the soon-to-be-retiring president of HRAI, Warren Heeley. I was tasked with learning all about the organization, how it operates, what it is they actually do, and what retirement meant for Heeley.
My first few months in the industry followed along this similar path – learn as much as I can and as quickly as I can. I am not going to pretend to be an expert after one year. But after every trade show, conference, seminar, and article, I am beginning to understand this industry a little more.
Another article that helped kickstart my year was all about heating options in a house. In many ways, this article was the most helpful to write because it attacked so many different aspects of the heating industry. I grew up with electric baseboard heating. So, things like forced air heating, zoning, hydronic heating, in-floor heating or heat pumps were complete mysteries to me. I learned much from the many contractors I interviewed.
One of my favourite articles concerned water-alarm and shutoff systems. To me, this type of technology seems almost futuristic. Yet it makes so much sense. This idea of an interconnected home is becoming more popular as newer tech is created, making it easier to do daily tasks.
I first saw this technology at the AHR Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia back in January. The size of this show blew me away. I walked about 30 km. I hadn’t realized how many different companies there were in the industry. It was a great experience where I was able to see many newly released products.
Throughout these last 12 months, I have witnessed changes to the industry – many of which were the result of government legislation. Some changes have been good, some bad, and others brought about mixed emotions. Almost as soon as I was hired, Ontario elected Doug Ford as premier. And with that came the cuts. Almost immediately Ontario lost its Cap and Trade and with GreenOn programs. The contractors that I spoke with about this said they’d miss the artificial stimulation of the marketplace but wouldn’t miss the sporadic ebbs and flow that these rebates initiated.
Some changes have been seen as more positive, like the progress on prompt payment legislation at federal and provincial levels. Steel and aluminum tariffs hurt the industry and are finally gone. I can’t believe it’s already been one year. Time flies when you are having fun. I am looking forward to another year and seeing what will happen next in this industry.