Steamfitters UA Local #602 Mechanical Trades School recently expanded and renovated its training facilities. The union, which represents journeymen, apprentices and helpers working in the heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and process piping industries, sought equipment donations to help with its apprenticeship training mission.

SPX Cooling Technologies helped the cause by providing a factory-assembled single-cell crossflow Marley NC 8401 cooling tower that was originally constructed as a demonstration cooling tower for trade shows. The equipment is typical of what students would see regularly in the field.

The tower allows the school to present students with a real-world environment, and instructors use the complete cooling system to show how to troubleshoot and fix problems with HVAC systems. When it was delivered, the apprentices helped install the tower. It now it is being used to cool one of the new classrooms.

The school, with training centers in Landover, Md., and Springfield, Va., offers a five-year apprenticeship and trains approximately 700 students aged 19 to 70. Classes range from soldering and brazing, health and safety, and drawing and blueprint reading to basic and advanced refrigeration and electricity.