Johnson Controls commits $15 million to community college HVAC programs

Last updated on July 15, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Johnson Controls said it is investing $15 million over the next five years to support nonprofit community colleges.

The company will drive funding to expand associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security, and digital building automation systems.

Milwaukee Area Technical College is one of 10 colleges to receive a total investment of $1 million as part of the program’s first phase.

MATC will receive an initial grant of $100,000, renewable annually for up to four years. In addition, Johnson Controls employees will support MATC through volunteerism and mentorships, providing students with hands-on experience, internship opportunities and professional networking connections, the college said.

“We are grateful for this generous grant from Johnson Controls, which will provide the funds to expand our high-quality, in-demand heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) program. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of indoor air quality and Johnson Controls is investing in opportunities in this critical and rewarding career,” said MATC President Vicki Martin.

MATC will use the funding to support the HVAC lab at Milwaukee Public Schools Barack Obama School of Technical Education for dual-enrollment academy students, provide a success coach for those students and traditional MATC students enrolled in HVAC courses, and support for field trips, guest speaker, and other career exploration efforts.

“Johnson Controls is proud to build on our significant presence in the city by partnering with Milwaukee Area Technical College in the Community College Partnership Program. We believe the program will empower people to build lifelong careers that will change their lives and the city,” said Grady Crosby, vice president of public affairs and chief diversity officer at Johnson Controls. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-trained and trained engineers are critical to keeping our environments working safely and efficiently.”

The first 10 colleges to receive grants are in cities where Johnson Controls has a significant customer base and employee presence. In addition to MATC, other recipients include Kennedy-King College (Chicago), Suffolk County Community College (Selden, New York), Montgomery College (Rockville, Maryland), Community College of Baltimore County, Lone Star College (Conroe, Texas), Henry Ford College (Dearborn, Michigan), Essex County Community College (Newark, New Jersey), Camden County College (Blackwood, New Jersey), and Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, Georgia).

A Johnson Controls spokesperson said the company plans to add 10 to 15 community colleges each school year over the next five years until it invests in 50 colleges nationwide. Renewals are subject to colleges reapplying and meeting Johnson Controls recruitment, retention, graduate and volunteer rates metrics.

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