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Kyle Dennis, winner of the 2019 National HVAC Apprentice Award with Yale Mechanical.

Yale Mechanical Apprentice Kyle Dennis Wins National HVAC Apprentice Award

One of the main benefits our customers get from working with us is the skill and expertise of our technicians. We have more than 40 technicians who average more than 15 years of experience, and it’s that collective knowledge that helps us solve some of the most complex HVAC challenges you’ll find. But like any good business, we also need to develop younger staff and support their passions.

That’s why we’re excited to share the news that Kyle Dennis, an Apprentice at Yale and member of Pipefitters Local 539, recently took first place in the National Apprentice Contest conducted by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC). This nationwide competition aims to find the most talented apprentices in various trades competition.

We’re proud to share that Kyle Dennis won the 2019 National HVAC Apprentice Award during the competition in Indiana last month, proving his expertise in HVAC on a national stage.

We wanted to introduce Kyle and what this award means to him, as well as what advice he would give to others considering a career in the HVAC industry.

When did you know you wanted to work in the HVAC industry?

KD: My stepfather was a union Pipefitter and when I was about 16, he let me help install a furnace. That’s when I first got interested in it and thought this might be something I would enjoy doing as a career.

What is the process you followed to become an Apprentice?

KD: I went to trade school for two years at Minneapolis Community Technical College to earn my degree and get into the Pipefitters apprenticeship. From there I was hired by Yale as a Pre-Apprentice, which is like an internship where you do a variety of tasks and help a lot of different people. After four months of my Pre-Apprenticeship, I started my Apprenticeship.

Kyle Dennis, Yale Mechanical Apprentice and winner of the 2019 National HVAC Apprentice Award

Kyle competed in a series of examinations and hands-on projects to demonstrate his HVAC skills.

When did you learn about the test and what made you apply?

KD: My Apprenticeship coordinator told our class about it. Several of us volunteered, and I was chosen to compete.

What did you have to do to win the 2019 National HVAC Apprentice Award?

KD: It was quite intensive. The competition covered a broad range of HVAC issues, and there were 10 aspects to the competition with different events and tests. We had to demonstrate our copper brazing technique, complete a 100-question written exam, and perform a leak and pressure test. We were also given a faulty HVAC unit and had to diagnose the problems, show we know proper refrigerant recovery procedures, and complete proper electrical wiring.

Who have been your most influential mentors at Yale?

KD: Bobby Granger and Jack Anderson have helped me a lot. They were always there to help guide me, answer questions that I had, and teach me things as I worked with them. I’ve also always leaned on Jerry Moening and Jeremy Nephew. When I can’t figure something out, I can call those guys, even at 10 o’clock at night if necessary, and they’ll help me. But all the technicians are helpful and will give me advice or guide me in the right direction to figure stuff out.

What does this award mean for your career?

KD: For me personally, it validates the education and training that I’ve done and proves that I am very good at what I do. It gives me even more confidence knowing I’ve been taught the right way to do things.

What advice do you have for someone who’s considering a career in the HVAC trade?

KD: Stop thinking about it and start doing it. Be willing to learn and ask questions and do things the right way. It’ll pay off in the long run.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it means to be an Apprentice or a career at Yale Mechanical, call us at (952) 884-1661 or email

Blog Author

Ron Gundershaug

As vice president of Yale Mechanical’s Service Division, Ron leads the Twin Cities’ largest service fleet committed to superior HVAC service and energy management solutions. He has been helping Yale Mechanical solve the toughest HVAC problems for more than 27 years and is committed to providing service with unmatched quality and response time.

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