Like so many other businesses being rapidly transformed by the technology, the job of installing and servicing heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is becoming more complex and demanding.
To be sure HVAC technicians have the necessary skills to serve customers today and prepare for the workplace challenges of tomorrow, Alabama Power and Bevill State Community College have partnered to establish the new HVAC Training Center in Jasper.
An expansion and modernization of a facility that operated for years in Verbena, the relocated center began classes in August and celebrated with a dedication ceremony on Friday.
The facility is the first of its kind to provide training on multiple types and brands of HVAC equipment and will provide students the valuable skills needed for jobs in the growing HVAC industry. It is also supported by about 50 manufacturers and distributors.
“We are honored to work with Bevill State and our other partners to deliver this state-of-the-art HVAC Training Center,” Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite said. “It has been designed to provide the best possible environment to gain the expertise needed to provide superior HVAC service to customers, all while growing and elevating Alabama and its workforce.”
Students at the facility will have the opportunity to work on the latest equipment using training aids and tools in real-world situations.
“As Bevill State continues to focus on workforce solutions and economic development for our service area and beyond, the opening of the HVAC Training Facility in Jasper will have a positive impact for Bevill State, Alabama Power, program attendees and the economic vitality of the area,” she added.
The HVAC Training Center includes 33,000 square feet of indoor facilities, including technology labs, seminar space and classrooms. There is additional space for the program to expand.
Each lab is equipped with cutting-edge training equipment, including multiple types of heat pumps, simulators, geothermal systems, brazing, duct fabrication, whole house dehumidification systems, high-efficiency water heating, and ducted and ductless systems.
The need for skilled HVAC technicians is growing. The NEWS, a trade publication, reported earlier this year that federal labor statistics indicate the HVAC industry expects jobs in the field to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 as construction needs accelerate and older workers retire.
Since its inception in 1986, Alabama Power’s Verbena facility had provided training, professional development and continuing education for over 31,000 dealers and technicians from 43 states and four countries.
“I am excited that Walker County is now home to this incredible training facility,” said Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper. “Bevill State is a flagship institution of the community college system and Alabama Power is a cornerstone of the business community.
Their partnership and this training center will mean more people in our area have a chance to learn hands-on skills that will give folks a path to solid, well-paying jobs.