The HVAC industry is poised on the brink of significant growth, but with growth comes the need for skilled professionals to sustain it. The cry for quality training and comprehensive programs in HVAC has never been more pertinent. Understanding the pressing need, Greenfield Community College (GCC) is stepping up to the plate.
Starting as early as next fall, GCC will launch a state-of-the-art HVAC training program, paving the way for a greener workforce. The exciting endeavor is set to significantly address the issue of equity in the clean energy workforce, ensuring a balanced and robust talent pool for the industry.
Funding the Future
GCC’s initiative received a considerable boost from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. An initial planning grant of $50,000 was awarded in October 2022, followed by a substantial $1.1 million this fall to facilitate the program’s actualization. This massive push is part of an $18 million state grant program driving the development of a just and inclusive clean energy workforce.
GCC President Michelle Schutt enthused about the dual benefit of the program, stating, “Clean energy jobs are good for the environment and good for family incomes.” The sentiment reflects the broader HVAC industry perspective; it’s not just about energy efficiency but about building sustainable careers.
Building Careers, Not Just Jobs
The training will provide participants with more than just technical skills. With professional certifications, comprehensive student support, and a two-month paid internship (funded by the grant), the program equips its trainees for immediate industry engagement.
In an innovative recruitment approach, GCC and MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center will channel their efforts towards historically underrepresented individuals. Kristin Cole, GCC’s VP of workforce development, emphasized the distinct approach, suggesting the program aims to offer opportunities that go beyond mere listings on a website.
In light of the Massachusetts clean energy workforce needs assessment, the HVAC industry needs to gear up for a 17% increase in professionals by 2030. GCC’s program is aptly timed to help fill that void.
Community Collaboration: A Symbiotic Relationship
Community partners are showing strong support for GCC’s endeavor. Not only are many willing to onboard trainees for internships, but some also even offer to foot the bill, indicating the dire need for trained HVAC professionals. The program offers a symbiotic relationship – while students get quality training, local businesses gain access to a ready pool of trained professionals.
Sue Serner, CEO of Amherst-based Surner Heating Co., voiced her endorsement, praising the program as a “critical resource” that promises an excellent career trajectory in the HVAC industry.
For HVAC business owners, GCC’s initiative heralds a promising era of enhanced talent influx. It sends a clear message about the industry’s future: there’s a growing need for schools and colleges to champion HVAC training. Such endeavors don’t just fill job vacancies; they promise sustainable growth, inclusivity, and a brighter, greener future for the HVAC industry.
TL;DR: Greenfield Community College (GCC) is launching a new HVAC training program by next fall, funded by a substantial grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The program aims to promote equity in the green workforce, offering professional certifications, comprehensive support, and paid internships. The initiative is part of a broader movement to address the anticipated 17% increase in HVAC professionals by 2030. Local businesses, recognizing the pressing need for skilled HVAC workers, are rallying behind GCC’s efforts, signaling a brighter future for the industry.