HVAC boot camp helps fill industry need

HVAC boot camp helps fill industry need
The first graduates from the new HVAC "boot camp" at Bevill State Community College have completed the course. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

The first students will graduate next week from an intense HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) “boot camp” in Jasper.

Bevill State Community College and Alabama Power announced in 2017 plans for a joint HVAC training center, which opened for classes last August.

The summer boot camp is an accelerated program that teaches technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, service and maintain heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

What makes the boot camp different from other training at the center is the intensity of the class: Instead of attending two-week classes spread out over about two years, boot camp participants attend full-time for 11 straight weeks.

“This boot camp is another example of Alabama Power and Bevill State working together to meet the demands of industry,” said Al Moore, dean of workforce solutions and economic development for Bevill State. “The students in this program have an extraordinary opportunity to work in the HVAC industry, and we are thrilled to be a part of their success.”.

The first graduates from the new HVAC “boot camp” at Bevill State Community College have completed the course. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

The HVAC-R Workforce Foundation reports that by 2021 there will be a shortage of at least 170,000 technicians.

To help meet this need, the Bevill State Workforce Solutions Division, in partnership with Alabama Power, developed a 295-hour, short-term, noncredit class to train and place participants in HVAC-R technician jobs within a few months.

Participants are taught in a state-of-the art facility by Alabama Power instructors. Graduates earn a Bevill State certification, EPA Section 608 Refrigerant Handling Certification and qualify to take the Alabama HVAC-R Contractors Exam.

“The Alabama Power HVAC Training Center is honored to work with Bevill State to provide training for these participants,” said Joel Owen, training center manager. “An additional benefit is that we have facilitated a job fair with industry contacts to interview the graduates for immediate job placement in the HVAC-R industry.”

The first boot camp graduation will be Wednesday, Aug. 28, at noon at the HVAC training facility, 3711 Industrial Court, in Jasper.

For more information about the program, visit bscc.edu.

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