Trade jobs in general are really struggling to find talented individuals interested in the opportunities. The “dark and dangerous” stigma needs to start being overturned, and people need to realize the great success that can be found in industries like HVACR.

That’s why HARDI, Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International, is working on a workforce recruitment initiative that includes a video project to highlight different people with different backgrounds working in different roles in the HVACR industry.

Different people with different backgrounds working in different roles in the HVACR industry

The Video project

“HARDI has access to a lot of success stories and can find great examples of people that have worked hard and built themselves great careers,” says Chris DeBoer, HARDI Director of Marketing and Sales. “It is our duty to help our members, and this is one of the ways we feel we can give back to them.” That’s why they are developing the “Hot Commodity”  video project.

“The goal was not to make [the video] specific to one type of person but open it up to show that no matter the experience or background there are opportunities available,” says DeBoer. The Hot Commodity video highlights diversity among the characters but also the roles and companies out there hiring as well. A shorter version of the film can be used by HARDI members or others attending a career fair, going on a school visit, sharing on social media, etc.

No matter the experience or background there are opportunities available"

An HVAC Documentary

A longer version of the film is still being worked on. It is meant to be a full-length documentary one might see on Netflix, Amazon, etc. “People are more willing to watch things that are informative as long as they entertain,” says DeBoer. The goal is to entertain while also spreading awareness. He points to films such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” which sparked the climate change conversation; and “Supersize Me” that changed millions of people’s perspective on fast food.

“The hope is that we can start changing perspectives about the industry and the great success that is obtainable should someone choose this as a career path,” DeBoer notes. “The full film is for people to self-discover more so than the short film, where there is already a reason to share.”

The 8-minute short version of “Hot Commodity” is available on the “HARDI Hub” website.

The Development of the full film

We are hoping to get it shared enough to get some buzz and get it on streaming platforms"

“The full film is currently getting some final touches and we are hoping to get it shared enough to get some buzz and get it on streaming platforms,” says DeBoer. “Final details on distribution are still being worked on.”

The greatest hope would be to get the longer film on streaming platforms and to educate more of the masses about the industry.  “It would be great for members to work with us on a grassroots effort, but I also think we need to think broader about reaching people in areas where members might not be proactive with spreading the news,” says DeBoer.

There may be additional videos still in the works. “There has been some discussion around developing a series of shorter films around each of the individual characters to create a mini-series to be used in different recruitment efforts,” says DeBoer. "I think this could be a way to really target certain people based on specific situations.”

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