Graduates from PPA, Ty Hoke and Manny Genao Jr. sign on with leading HVAC & Energy companies.The typical “signing ceremony” involves a young adult playing sports for a four-year college. On March 19, a regional workforce development program held another kind of signing ceremony — where the students in question signed on to well-paying, lifelong careers.

During the ceremony, Emmanuel “Manny” Genao, Jr., of Carlisle, and Tyler Hoke of Pine Grove, celebrated their graduation from PPATEC’s HVAC & Energy Professional Program. At the same time, Genao signed an employment agreement with Modern Comfort Systems (Pennsylvania Service Division), and Hoke signed on with Leffler Energy, two regional energy powerhouses.

PPATEC, an arm of the PA Petroleum Association (PPA), offers leading hands-on technical training solutions for the HVAC and energy industry. The PPA is a not-for-profit trade association representing 400+ energy stakeholders. PPATEC is a postsecondary entry-level career training institution licensed by the State Board of Private Licensing Schools.


“In order to build a good team, it’s important to partner with a program that offers quality training that we can build on,” says Mike McCurdy, General Manager, Leffler Energy. “PPATEC does a great job in giving students comprehensive, hands-on training in all the important technical areas of our industry. It just makes sense for us to bring one of these graduates on board.”

In 2022, PPATEC launched its HVAC & Energy Professional Program, a 10- week, hands-on curriculum tailored to provide the skills needed to secure a job in the HVAC and energy industry. Since then, graduates of the program have routinely enjoyed multiple employment offers, often graduating on a Friday and going into a new career the following Monday. According to Ted Harris, PPATEC’s Executive Vice President, there is a state-wide shortage of more than 2,000 HVAC technicians — jobs with an average annual salary well above $50,000. PPATEC created its entry-level training program to help PPA members fill that pressing need.

“We’re glad to play a role in preparing these — and other — young men and women for careers in an in-demand field,” says Harris. “We’re also confident that this will be just the first of many such ceremonies for program graduates as they join the workforce.”

Candidates have multiple opportunities for financial support. Veterans can use GI Bill® benefits to defray the cost of the program. PPATEC also routinely offers scholarships to candidates. In addition, PPA members have an opportunity to sponsor a candidate entering the program. To learn more about PPATEC’s program, visit