Success Stories

Solar Panel Technicians (Students)

Heartland Community College Expands HVACR Program

Heartland Community College has been able to expand its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning program, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

It added geothermal and solar thermal classes, as well as one class on sustainable energy. Students can also earn certificates in Sustainable Energy Systems or Building Controls Skills. Plus, they can go on to receive an associate degree in Sustainable Energy Systems.

“We want to give our students the best opportunity to achieve a rewarding career in areas that are in demand,” said Chris Miller, a Heartland faculty member.

Materials were bought for its DC electronics class and Renewable Energy I class, which focus on photovoltaic installation. Both are part of the Renewable Energy associate degree. Other equipment added included trainers for heat pump technology/geothermal, solar thermal, and hydronic heating systems.

Miller said Heartland has been actively bringing high school students to its campus to see the new programs and equipment. Employers also are becoming more active, seeking out students again.

“We have had strong interest in local employers to recruit our students, do internships and possibly host a class at their business,” he said. “Plus, these fields will not go away. They cannot be made in a foreign country. These jobs will form a strong back bone of good technical jobs.”

Support was provided by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.