HVAC workers unable to progress; journeyman tests on hold for nearly a year

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Henry Goold has been an apprentice for years—working to get his HVAC journeyman license.

He finally met all the requirements to move up in his career at the start of this year… Then he hit a roadblock.

“I went to go apply for my journeyman’s test back in February through the city of Omaha and I didn’t get any word back until May or June saying it was approved,” said Goold.

And he’s been trying to take the test ever since… Goold’s been both canceled on and left hanging.

“When I showed up 45 minutes early, they ended up no calling, no showing so that was really the frustrating part.”

The delay is costing Goold and others like him thousands of dollars.

Since they can’t take the test – they can’t get the pay increase that comes with having the HVAC journeyman license.

The city tells us the company they used to test applicants dropped them earlier this year to test other professions outside of the trades.

“This particular test has not been available since probably January. I think that’s when we got word that because of COVID they went fully virtual for some of their testing,” said Anna Bespoyasny, City of Omaha planning superintendent.

The city has been scrambling to find a new third-party test provider. They tell 6 News that they’ve found one.

The board will vote next month.

“We can advise the board that this is a good move and that’s basically what our position has been with the board. But, we want to make sure that we get whatever issues or outlying factors get everything ironed out so that when we move to it that it’s seamless, it works how we want it to, and that they will continue to offer it,” Bespoyasny said.

Goold says the wait is frustrating and he’s hoping there is an answer soon so he can get his career back on track.

“I mean you just gotta keep your head up and you know, hopefully, something happens sooner than later. We are just at a standstill,” said Goold.

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