BELLS AND WHISTLES: Mike Hoppe, senior product manager, Intelligent Equipment, Daikin Applied Americas Inc., highlights some of the new features on Daikin Applied’s next version of Intelligent Equipment, launching this spring. ATLANTA — Every HVAC manufacturer, distributor, and contractor is aware of the growing labor shortage within the skilled trades industries. Most have been working to combat the shortage by getting creative in recruitment efforts — much like Daikin Applied did at the 2019 AHR Expo. The manufacturer hosted its inaugural Future of HVAC event, during which engineering and trade school students learned about Daikin Applied and careers within the industry. The students were then treated to dinner by company executives. “As we’re all aware, HVAC — along with the rest of the trades — is facing a stark reality of an aging workforce and a shortage of potential employees,” said Kirk Thorne, executive vice president of sales, marketing and aftermarket, Daikin Applied. “Daikin is excited to promote the future of HVAC and demonstrate its commitment to the next generation of HVAC technicians and engineers. The students met our executives, dove into our technology, receiv...