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We're proud to announce the launch of our newest workforce training program—Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning or HVAC.

With this announcement, the HVAC Technician SVHEC strengthens its position as a leader in providing short-term, credential based workforce training programs that respond to the expressed needs of area employers.

HVAC@SVHEC is a short-term, hands-on training program designed to prepare individuals for careers as HVAC helpers, repair technicians, installation technicians, and mechanics. In less than a year, trainees will have the skills and certifications they need to find employment in this growing industry. Available certifications include NCCER CORE, NCCER HVAC Levels 1 and 2 and OSHA 10.

“The new HVAC program demonstrates the SVHEC’s commitment to providing short-term, credential based training that meets the needs of regional employers,” said SVHEC Executive Director Dr. Betty H. Adams. “With this new career pathway, Southern Virginians will have yet another opportunity to pursue the hands-on training and certifications we know leads to good-paying jobs that exist today,” she continued.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC technicians earn an average of $37,000 annually, and job openings for HVAC installers and mechanics will grow by 15% within the next seven years. In Southern Virginia, more than 500 individuals are employed in the HVAC industry, but employers cite difficulty in finding entry-level, work-ready technicians. HVAC@SVHEC will address this issue by providing individuals with the skills and certifications they need to start an HVAC career in less than a year.

“Our SVHEC staffers, Deloris Jones and Jermaine Gooden, are doing a fantastic job of translating what area employers have told us into a deliverable training program in a high-demand sector. Their ongoing conversations and work with HVAC professionals ensure that anyone completing our new HVAC program will be job and work ready,” said Dr. Nettie Simon-Owens, SVHEC Chief Workforce Development Officer. “We continue to be grateful to the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Roundtable, other employers, and the Tobacco Commission for engaging with us to bring needed workforce training opportunities to Southern Virginia,” she continued.

HVAC@SVHEC was developed in response to industry needs, and with the help of long-time industry professionals. An advisory committee of regional HVAC professionals helped select the hands-on training materials and lab equipment to ensure instruction matches what trainees will encounter in the field.

“I see this program as being different because of the level of detail and structure. We have the actual training equipment used in the field, and great staff,” said Chris Walton, advisory committee member and owner of Strategic Heating and Air.

Walton and Billy Mahan, Service General Manager for Comfort Systems Mid-Atlantic will serve as HVAC@SVHEC’s first instructors. With a combined 48 years in the field, the industry professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experiences to their positions. “I’m looking forward to being able to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years to help a new generation of HVAC technicians,” said Mahan.

HVAC@SVHEC is scheduled to begin May 7th. Classes will meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 5:00pm-9:00pm. Due to the hands-on instruction, and training space, the initial cohort is limited to 10 students. Interested individuals must attend an information session about the program and financial assistance before program enrollment.

Information sessions will be held at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s Innovation Center on the following dates:
February 12th at 4:00pm
February 20th at 5:00pm
February 28th at 2:00pm
March 4th at 10:00am
March 12th at 5:00pm

For more information or to register for an HVAC@SVHEC information session, contact Deloris Jones, Program Coordinator, at 434-572-5593 or email hvac@svhec.org.