A New Center for HVAC Training
Many of us take the ubiquitous heating and air systems that keep us comfortable in our homes and businesses for granted. Still, keeping the equipment that drives these systems in good working order is no small task. To do that, there has been and will continue to be a wide spread need for well-trained, skilled Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning technicians.
This summer, Piedmont Technical College took a leap forward in fulfilling the training needs in this field by opening the doors to a new 10,000 square foot HVAC Training Center.
“We spent many hours in discussion and planning to get the ball rolling,” said David Kibler, dean of engineering and industrial technologies. “Now we have a first-class, state-of-the-art training facility that is possibly one of the best HVAC training facilities in the state of South Carolina, and maybe in the Southeast.”
The center features 3,000 square feet of concreted space which houses outside training units as well as hi-tech classrooms, a new super market rack refrigeration trainer and mobile walk-in freezer units. In all, more than 150 real world trainers are being used.
For the fall, the HVAC program at Piedmont Tech has 43 students enrolled. However, the program has room for 120 students. So, there is room to grow and there are jobs out there to fill. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14 percent job growth through 2024 for HVAC technicians. On top of that, recent graduates have had no trouble finding employment. For instance, of the college’s 11 HVAC graduates in 2014-15, 10 found jobs and one continued his/her education.
The goal of the new facility is to get all of the HVAC functions, which were previously spread across three locations on the Greenwood campus, in one location.
“Our college continues to make major investments of resources to build the best HVAC training facility in the state of South Carolina,” said Keenan Tallent, HVAC program director. “This facility will move our commitment to training excellence for our students to a level matched by few.”
The new facility showcases the college’s continued commitment to providing students with the right technology and training for learning the skills needed for success in today’s job market.
“What we do is all about changing lives,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Tech. “This is a facility that will change lives for years to come.”