HVACR Technicians

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HVACR Technicians

A community college collaborative in Southern California addresses the regional HVACR workforce need in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. Led by Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC), this collaborative addresses HVACR workforce needs in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. It engages regional HVACR employers to build links between the colleges’ curriculum and industry-recognized credentials.

Participating colleges have standardized on two entry-level industry certifications and are developing a structure of stackable credentials. The objective is to bridge skills gaps and add capacity in priority HVACR specialties. This initiative aligns community colleges programs with HVACR workforce needs, expands the scope of industry and stakeholder engagement, and raises the visibility of career opportunities in this important sector.

Project Lead: Mt. San Antonio College

 Download this report to read a review prepared by Applied Learnng Science of the HVACR Certificate programs at selected Southern California Community Colleges.

 Download this flyer to read more about HVACR and the colleges that are preparing students for HVACR careers.

The Need:

HVACR systems account for approximately 40% of energy consumption in 8 billion square feet of commercial buildings. The complexity of these systems, scope of required upgrades, and associated workforce gaps present a daunting challenge for educators. The need for qualified workers is critical for these reasons:

  • Fourteen community colleges in Southern California Edison territory produce an average of 393 HVAC workers per year, versus a projected annual demand of 1,261 through 2016.
  • Significant skills gaps exist, indicating the need for training many of the region’s 24,000 incumbent HVAC workers.

Experience is more valued by employers than HVAC industry certifications, limiting employment opportunities for new workforce entrants and creating inconsistencies in recruiting standards among employers.

HVACR systems in commercial buildings are huge contributors to energy consumption in California.

The California Energy Commission estimates that up to 50% of new and up to 85% of replacement HVACR systems are not installed and maintained to a quality level of specification. Workforce opportunities abound for addressing the gaps in HVACR quality installation and maintenance, with one national study predicting a quadrupling of the HVACR workforce by 2020. In just four Southern California counties, this initiative will close an annual supply gap of over 600 HVACR technicians and nearly 2,000 in related occupations.

This collaborative with the community colleges will bridge these workforce gaps through a sector strategy approach that brings educators and industry to the same table. Industry participation ensures that educators are well-informed of employer needs.

The HVACR initiative aims to achieve these objectives:

  1. Develop industry recognized HVACR energy-efficiency credentials, certificates, and degree programs and enhance existing education and training programs.
  2. Expand the scope of HVACR industry partnerships to identify employment readiness and incumbent worker needs and foundational skills and knowledge requirements for key sectors of the energy efficiency sector. Develop these industry connections into a regional industry advisory.
  3. Raise the visibility of HVACR energy efficiency careers and educational opportunities among youth and job seekers to expand the future workforce pipeline.
  4. Develop articulated regional pathways among as many as 14 colleges over 3 to 5 years.
  5. Re-purpose incumbent HVACR worker training to develop a course for community college career and technical education students in preparation for entering the HVACR workforce.
  6. Develop model HVACR curriculum and course delivery system that can be adopted for use by community colleges and apprenticeship programs statewide.


RSVP by February 9 for the Community College HVACR Collaborative Regional Advisory meeting on February 12, 2016, 8:30am to 1pm, at the Energy Education Center, 6090 N. Irwindale Avenue, Irwindale, CA  91702.  Register here.  Download the brochure.  Agenda:
  • Conversation about a Zero Net Ready™ Workforce
  • HVAC Emerging Technologies
  • Employer-Education Workforce Ecosystem
Who Should Attend:  HVACR Collaborative Faculty, CTE Deans & Chairs, HVACR Contactors, Energy Trade Associations, HVAC Equipment and Services Distributors, Utilities’, Education and Content Providers, Energy Sector Related Apprenticeship Training Programs, Building Owners, Operators and Facilities Managers, Energy Services Providers
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