The Student Program

 Student eligibility, student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age before starting the program and have completed their sophomore year of high school
  • have at least a C average and excellent school attendance
  • have reliable transportation to and from work location
  • be recommended to the program by an educator, school administrator or PHCC member
  • obtain parental permission with a Release for the PHCC and educational institution
  • adhere strictly to the attendance and employment regulations required by the employer and adhere strictly to the TN Child Labor Laws

​For more information and to register, please see

For many students, college is the answer but for many other students it could be Trade School or an Apprenticeship Program. For other students it may be a combination of on-the- job apprentice training with either Trade School or some specific College courses. Careful planning with all of the right information could save families hard earned dollars, help the economy and potentially give a young person a jump start to their future.

The Program Purpose:

Pair students with trade industry contractors to allow them to experience the trade while assisting in paid work functions during their summer school break.

 The Mission:

Offer options through High Schools and their Administrators to encourage the students that either cannot decide or have not thought about what to do when they graduate from High School to consider our trades.

Educate the students and their parents on the benefits of working in the industry including:

  • Competitive wages, get paid while you train
  • Seriously reduced training and education fees compared to the average four year college degree
  • Minimal career obsolescence as society will always need plumbing, heating and cooling
  • Expanded opportunities for career advancement and owning your own business
  • Flexible hours and mobility, where society is, our careers are needed.
  • Organize a dedicated group including educators, contractors and administrators that will dedicate the time and effort it takes to establish a successful program as well as set in place a means of keeping it active and remaining successful throughout the years. If properly initiated, promoted and managed, this program will become successful enough to spread throughout the country. Although we are mainly effected by what happens in the HVAC and Plumbing industries, not all students will be interested in our trades, therefore this program must include all facets of the construction and service trades to attract as many  students as possible and be a success.



For every 4 skilled workers that leave the construction industry,
only 1 is entering the field.

 As everyone in our industry knows, the construction trades are suffering daily from the lack of skilled workers.  At the current attrition rate, when the next two generations of tradesmen/women retire in 40 years there will be virtually no one to train. This fact not only affects the trades as an industry, but ultimately the consumer and the future of our society.

What are we going to do about this pressing issue? 
Gordy Noe, President of Pioneer Heating and Air has participated in various work based learning programs in the past but realized he needed to reach potential employees earlier and expose them to the field.  In 2015, he came up with the idea to create a “Ride and Decide” program for all students in the area to try the trades and see if the fields were a fit for their futures.

 We all know that part of the problem is the perception of our industry jobs. 

By providing an avenue where a student can see first-hand what the jobs entail while getting paid, students can make informed decisions if the trades are right for them.

 The Tennessee PHCC, Knox County and surrounding county schools have joined forces and it is a huge success! 

Over 80 students have participated in the program in the past two years

31 employers were enrolled

 From the end of program surveys:

ALL of the students eligible want to enroll in the program the next year.
ALL of the employers want to continue the program next year.

As good stewards of the community and our industry, it is our responsibility to help correct this problem before it is such a problem for the next generation that it is almost impossible to address. This program assists student decisions and allows them to consider the trades.
Employers- What was the best part of the program?

“Teaching fresh, excited, young students about our business.”
“Introducing someone new to the trade.”
“Students having the opportunity to experience the real work environment.”
“Having the opportunity to expose young people to our industry in respect to what the job entails as well as allowing them to see why they may enjoy the career.”
“A little extra help when we needed it! Both boys were willing workers.”
Students- What was the best part of the program?

“Getting to learn about different trades.”
“Working hands on to try it- was great!”
“I learned how everything works from the field to the office to using equipment.”
“I learned to weld, make ducts, change filters and then went to job sites on deliveries to see how stuff worked and fit together.”
“I want to work at this company when I graduate next year.”
“Did service calls on AC and generators- Did not know this was a career.”



Ph: 865-531-7422

Fax: 865-531-7045


9041 Executive Park Dr. Ste 220, Knoxville, TN 37923



Tennessee Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Inc.