JASPER, Ala. – Representatives from Alabama Power and Bevill State Community College were joined by community and business leaders Friday to celebrate the new HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) Training Center.
The HVAC Training Center is a partnership between Alabama Power and Bevill State in collaboration with nearly 50 manufacturers and distributors. The facility is the first of its kind to provide training on multiple types and brands of HVAC equipment and will provide students the valuable skills needed for jobs in the growing HVAC industry. Classes began in August.
“We are honored to work with Bevill State and our other partners to deliver this state-of-the-art HVAC Training Center,” said Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite. “It has been designed to provide the best possible environment to gain the expertise needed to provide superior HVAC service to customers, all while growing and elevating Alabama and its workforce.”
Students at the facility will have the opportunity to work on the latest equipment, using training aids and tools in real-world situations.
“Bevill State Community College and Alabama Power have a long-standing relationship that has formed an effective template for public-private partnerships,” said Bevill State President Kim Ennis. “As Bevill State continues to focus on workforce solutions and economic development for our service area and beyond, the opening of the HVAC Training Facility in Jasper will have a positive impact for Bevill State, Alabama Power, program attendees and the economic vitality of the area.”
The HVAC Training Center boasts 33,000 square feet of indoor facilities, including technology labs, seminar space and classrooms. There is additional space for the program to expand.
Each lab is equipped with cutting-edge training equipment, including multiple types of heat pumps, simulators, geothermal systems, brazing, duct fabrication, whole house dehumidification systems, high-efficiency water heating, and ducted and ductless systems.
The joint workforce development venture between Alabama Power and Bevill State will provide eligibility for certificate or degree credit options for students. Participants will be eligible to receive prior learning assessment (PLA) credits to count toward an HVAC long-term certificate or an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree from Bevill State.
Alabama Power previously operated an HVAC Training Center in Verbena and last year announced plans to relocate and expand. Since its inception in 1986, the Verbena facility had provided training, professional development and continuing education for over 31,000 dealers and technicians from 43 states and four countries.
The new joint venture was made possible through the cooperation, efforts and support of Alabama Power, Bevill State, the Alabama Community College System and elected officials.
“I am excited that Walker County is now home to this incredible training facility,” said Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper). “Bevill State is a flagship institution of the community college system and Alabama Power is a cornerstone of the business community. Their partnership and this training center will mean more people in our area have a chance to learn hands-on skills that will give folks a path to solid, well-paying jobs.
“It has been a privilege to work with Bevill State and Alabama Power on this project, and I am eager to see its positive impact on west Alabama and the entire state,” Reed continued.