By Staff Writer, PHCC-National Association
With nearly 50 years of experience in the HVAC profession, and dedication to the future of that industry as director and owner of Granite State Trade School in New Hampshire, Jim Fusco was named the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association’s (PHCC’s) 2021 HVAC Instructor of the Year. The award – sponsored by PHCC Corporate Partner Milwaukee Tool – was announced Oct. 21 during PHCCCONNECT2021, the association’s annual conference, held in Kansas City, Missouri.
“Fusco consistently provides the high standards of instruction we need,” said 2020-2021 PHCC President Hunter Botto during the award presentation. That level of professionalism comes from Fusco’s decades of experience in plumbing, heating, air conditioning, gas piping, appliance and equipment installation, including 15 years as a self-employed p-h-c contractor. He also serves as official mentor and proctor for the PHCC Educational Foundation’s online Plumbing and HVAC curriculum programs approved by the state of New Hampshire.
An independent mechanical inspector and consultant, Fusco developed the first independent gas training instruction program for Granite State Trade School. Since its inception in 2006, the school has expanded to provide expert training for gas, oil, HVAC and plumbing professionals, including a full four-year plumbing apprentice program.
To make the student experience reflective of real work experience, Fusco has built many hands-on features to the school’s equipment and has designed innovative training devices for students to work with, including electric circuits, diagnose control failures, venting and draft simulators. “He has the uncanny ability to appropriately combine the ‘book knowledge’ needed with ‘in-the-field knowledge’ necessary to equip students with the skills needed to succeed as HVAC professionals,” Botto added.
With the industry facing a crucial shortage of skilled workers, PHCC also praised Fusco for inspiring young people to get into the profession. “His commitment to bringing new tradesmen and women into the industry has led to a stronger and better trained workforce,” said Botto.
“He encourages professionalism in the industry by stressing the importance of being honest with your customer, arriving on time, and treating the customer’s home like your own,” he said, adding that Fusco was known for saying “Do not assume you know how to install a piece of equipment; use the manufacturer’s manual. Do good work; do that work to code; and treat the local inspectors with respect.”
With this HVAC Instructor of the Year award, PHCC and Milwaukee Tool proudly recognized Fusco for maintaining those high standards and for dedicating his career to enriching the lives of HVACR students.