17 Graduates Of Charlotte’s RENEW HVAC Program Quickly Find Jobs And Interviews | WFAE 90.7

Ten years already Urban League of Central Carolinas has conducted an HVAC training program where students learn the ins and outs of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit North Carolina in March 2020, many jobs became unstable and unemployment increased – and that program seemed more attractive, especially when combined with some additional incentives.

In response to the pandemic, the city of Charlotte has partnered Trane Technologies and the Urban League of Central Carolinas for the
Renewable energy and energy efficiency workforce (RENEW) HVAC program. The RENEW program specifically targets Charlotte residents displaced by COVID-19 to provide skilled vocational training for HVAC and electrical professions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts employment for the HVAC industry to grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is within the average of all occupations.

On April 28, 17 people graduated from Charlotte’s RENEW HVAC program. Almost half of the class has already accepted vacancies, while the rest is still in the application process. RENEW is a 13-week program that pays its students $ 15 an hour while they are training. The City of Charlotte has invested $ 500,000 in CARES Act RENEW HVAC.

Egypt Ray shows its HVAC certificate

Egypt Ray

Egypt Ray proudly displays its HVAC certificate on April 28th. Her graduation took place through Zoom.

Egypt Ray, one of the recent graduates, says that getting paid during her education was one of the reasons she wanted to join the program.

“This gives people the opportunity to keep earning money while they are in education,” said Ray, “and frankly (lack of income) is the reason why a lot of people don’t go to school or take a break while going to school. school. So I love that extra help with the program. “

Teddy McDaniel, president and CEO of the Urban League of Central Carolinas, says that while the students complete their training, they can also attend virtual career fairs. Trane Technologies and other vendors will interview students so they are ready to be placed on a job once they receive their certification.

“The program will not only educate Charlotte residents in HVAC technician roles, but also help the city achieve its goal of creating new green jobs and being free of carbon emissions by 2050,” McDaniel said.

And the program turns out to be popular. At its launch in September 2020, there were over 150 applicants for 30 slots.

“The need for training has increased significantly with the pandemic,” said McDaniel. “The pandemic has exacerbated many problems and people are looking for technical training so that they can reinvent themselves in careers, especially in Charlotte. There is a real need for people with a certified education. “

Ray said she wanted to participate in the program because she wants more stability in her work. She was working as a cook in Chile when the pandemic hit.

“COVID was my wake-up call,” she said. “And I realized that anything could happen in the blink of an eye, so I might as well start looking at something I’d like to do without it being the restaurant industry …”

Now Ray is looking for a job while working for the family business. Her grandfather runs a heating and air conditioning business, so her education helped.

“I’m not sure exactly which side of HVAC I want to get to,” she said. “I can do maintenance, or I can go back to school because a lot of jobs offer us to continue our education, and they pay for it.”

The next RENEW HVAC session will take place from June 2 to August 26 and interviews are now being held for slots. To learn more about the RENEW HVAC program, visit this page.

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