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Arizona Trade School

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Question:
First, how did you get into the HVAC/R business in the first place.

Second. What hurdles did you have to jump to either get into it or through it:-)

Third, would you do it again?Are there still problems as a lady being in this trade?

Lastly, would you recommend it for any other women? Specifically my daughter.

The reason for my post is I have people all the time tell me that I should train my daughters to take over my business. I politely tell them to go to he_ _ ! I tell them that it is a hard life, especially if you can't get into a large company with benefits etc. Its also 24/7 and tough on the body and for raising kids.

Well, my daughter overheard my discussion and now she thinks she might want to try it. I told her to go to her room and study for college and I would never teach her this trade! The truth is, she knows just about enough riding with me through all these years just so we could be together in the summer. I don't know why I ever got into it or anybody else for that matter! When I first found you on this newsgroup I was thrilled that a woman broke into this trade. I told my wife several times that I would rather have all women on the payroll instead of men whining all the time. Trust me, there are more 'wussies' in this world than there are women!

I just wondered if you could shed some light for her and myself on this. I hope this doesn't sound like a chauvinist poster, I think you know me better than that. I'm not saying I don't think women should be in this trade, I just think there are a lot easier things for my 97 pound daughter to do for a living. I believe it takes a specially confident woman to be able to get into this field, and I don't think my daughters have that type of confidence.


Answer:
In 1972, I enrolled at the University of Arizona in the AgEd program; added Animal Science as an afterthought. I had wanted for many years to be a county extension agent --you know, like Hank Kimble, on Green Acres? I wanted to specialize in 4H or FFA.

Well, I interned in the program, and discovered that it wasn't anything like I had expected it to be. I had thought that I'd spend a lot of time outside in fields and corrals -- instead, it was a lot of time flying a desk. Weekends were full of things like FFA days; evenings were spent talking to parents. Not a lot like I had wanted to do...and I also found out realistically that the pay was not that great. And the job market in 1977 basically sucked -- remember? Double-digit inflation, too.

My father, a precision aerospace machinist, asked me if it wouldn't be better if I came home and went to a trade school. I have always been a bit of a "tomboy," never quite fit in with the frills and dolls that other little girls liked. I played with toy guns and trucks and horses as a kid! So right off the top of my head, for some reason, I decided to go to either welding school, or refrigeration school.

Well, one of my best friends in much of grade school and high school was the daughter of the man who started Modern Schools of Refrigeration (now Refrigeration School, Inc., or RSI) in the valley here. I went and looked at one of the welding schools, and it was just too hot and dirty for me. And it didn't seem to have the job security that refrigeration does here in Phoenix. So I enrolled in RSI, one of the smartest things I have ever done. I haven't been unemployed more than probably five days in the last 23 years.



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