John Wood Community College officials say there is a shortage of trade skill workers in the area and they hope adding a new program will help meet that need.
A Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program was recently approved at JWCC by the Illinois Community College Board. The one-year certificate program will begin this fall and provice
It will help provide workers maintenance skills useful in factories, hospitals, and the heating & air industry.
The college is working with an advisory council made up of eight Tri-State HVAC businesses to further development the program & offer internship opportunities.
“Throughout this program there’s opportunity for internships they’ll be working with, so they have kinda of path into employment straight out of school,” CTHE Strategic Programs director Dave Hetzler said.
David Arnes, owner of Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning in Quincy, says many skilled trade workers are retiring and he hopes the program can help fill more trade jobs.
“It does create a shortage in the industries and in the trades in general and it’s having an affect on our business and all other local businesses it’s really a great service that John Wood has stepped up to take over,” Arnes said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says HVAC technicians in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa can earn anywhere from $42,000 to $67,000 a year on average.
The certificate includes 11 courses and two internship experiences. Five new courses were developed in collaboration with the advisory council and include Refrigeration Fundamentals, Heating Principles, Heating and Cooling Controls and Commercial Air Conditioning Systems. First semester and capstone HVAC internship experiences were also created.
Businesses on the JWCC HVAC advisory council include Keck Heating and Air Conditioning, Blessing Hospital, AireServ of Quincy, T. F. Ehrhart Company, Air Specialists Heating and Air Conditioning and Klingner & Associates.
According to John Wood officials, the next step in the HVAC program’s development is becoming eligible for federal financial aid, a process that is currently underway and tentatively set for approval in March.