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" FAIRFIELD, ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) Instructor Bradley Harding has been named 2014 Plumbing Instructor of the Year by Contractor Magazine and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) National Association.

Harding, plumbing instructor for KVCC’s Energy Services and Technology (EST) Program, received the award during CONNECT 2014, PHCC's convention and tradeshow, held last week in New Orleans.

The award recognizes instructors who dedicate their careers to enriching the lives of their students and who are strongly committed to the plumbing industry. Nominated by PHCC of Maine, Harding is credited with building the KVCC plumbing program from the "ground up" - establishing the school's plumbing shop, materials, curriculum, and even student base.

The nomination states that Harding’s “time commitment is unmatched, and he is very conscientious and thorough to make sure he does right by his students,” even going the extra distance this year to help students secure summer employment for more real-world experience.

A 30-year industry veteran, Harding embarked on his teaching career with a passion for innovation and a philosophy of "students first." At KVCC, he has created a state-of-the-art facility for hands-on learning in basic plumbing and HVAC installations, plus renewable energy technologies including geothermal, wood-burning applications, and solar thermal.

Harding continually practices problem-based learning and brings real-world situations into the classroom, often inviting industry speakers - manufacturers, inspectors, and contractors - to share their knowledge so that his students understand all aspects of the trade.

In addition, Harding helped establish the Energy Services and Technology Program Advisory Council, a group of more than 20 industry and educational professionals who provide guidance on current trends and recommend any curriculum changes to his program.

"Brad goes above-and-beyond to not only ensure his students are equipped with the very best educational resources but also to model the highest degree of professionalism, truly leading by example,” said PHCC Educational Foundation Plumbing Apprentice and Journeyman Training Committee Chair Richard Kerzetski. “He's a gem in the industry."

Harding made a point of noting others have also contributed to the success of KVCC’s EST program, but said he is honored by the recognition.

“I am absolutely excited and feel very privileged to receive this recognition and support from the plumbing industry and the PHCC,” Harding said. “It is a true honor to have been selected 2014 CONTRACTOR Magazine/PHCC Plumbing Instructor of the Year.”

Harding has his Master Plumber’s license and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine. He began teaching at KVCC in 2012. Previously, Harding owned and operated his own plumbing and heating business for 14 years. He began working as a plumbing apprentice when he was 16 years old. READ PHCC ARTICLE HERE...

Harding is originally from Anaheim, California, but has lived most of his life in Maine. He currently resides in South Portland, Maine with his wife Betsy and two children. "

"BIDDEFORD — Biddeford Regional Center of Technology graduate Nate Leary of Saco became the first high school graduate in the State of Maine to pass the State’s journeyman plumbing exam through a new career pathway option created by state legislation. Passed last year, the legislation allows graduates from Career and Technical Education plumbing programs to take the journeyman plumbing test upon graduation and become a journeyman-in-training.

“What a fantastic opportunity for high schools students,” said Brad Harding, former plumbing instructor for the plumbing program at Biddeford, in his press release. “CTEs are really diamonds in the rough, there is just so much potential for the students.”

Nate graduated from Biddeford’s Regional Center of Technology’s plumbing program in 2017. He is currently employed at Jim Godbout’s Plumbing & Heating. Owner Jim Godbout has been a major force in getting the plumbing program started at Biddeford Regional Center of Technology.

Paul Kennedy, the Lewiston CTE plumbing instructor, who was instrumental in getting the legislation passed into law said, “Maine businesses see it as a long overdue for schools to focus on preparing students for the world of work in the trades. There is a shortage of plumbers and while there is no one solution for this problem, a strong start is the job training program we have right in our CTEs.

An act to provide a Career and Technical Education Training Option for plumbers was approved for public law by the governor on March 24, 2017. After working one complete year in the trade under a Master Plumber, the student can transition from a JIT to a journeyman plumber.

Nate took the plumbing code course offered by Brad Harding as a refresher to help prepare him for the test. Brad Harding offers plumbing code courses throughout the year to help plumbers pass the State journey or master plumbing exam."

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