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This year's Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration apprentices had an abrupt end to their in-person classroom training at Harford Community College due to COVID-19 restrictions; however, the 26 apprentices were able to complete their classroom training virtually and completed the requirements for the program. Although an in-person ceremony was not possible, sincere congratulations were extended to the individuals who persevered to finish their four-year journey. Said Apprenticeship Coordinator Matthew Baylis, "My congratulations go out to these individuals who have worked very hard to get here. They’ve chosen a fantastic and in-demand field where the skills and knowledge they've gained will help them to have a great future." Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors of Maryland's Stephanie Anderson added, "This year's graduates didn't end the year as we’d planned, but met the challenge of online learning and successfully finished the year. We can’t wait to celebrate their accomplishments."

This year's graduates are Nicholas Bellmyer, Vincent Borsa, Sean Cannon, David Cook, Jonathan Crespo, Scott Cullum, Thomas Deluca, Noah Farmer, Nathan Ferrara, Joseph Finkle, Matthew Heisey, Nicholas Jones, Colin Kauffman, Adam Ludemann, Blake Melchior, Patrick Mitchell, Christopher Patton, Moises Portillo, Frederick Reinthaler III, Marcelo Sanchez, Donald Sauer, Gabriel Schaffer, Nick Stritch, Brennan Wagenfuehr, Robert Wanless, and Trevor Winfelder.

Students who successfully complete the four-year program are able to apply for and be granted a HVACR journeyperson license from the Maryland Department of Labor without taking the exam.

Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to increase 13 percent during the 2018-28 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. Average hourly wages of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers in Maryland were $29.26 in 2019.

HVACR technicians often specialize in either installation or maintenance and repair, although they are trained to do both. They also may specialize in doing heating work, air conditioning or refrigeration work, or in one type of equipment such as hydronics, solar panels, or commercial refrigeration. After installations, technicians often perform routine maintenance and repair work to keep systems operating efficiently.

To be considered for the program, applicants must be at least 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma or GED, and have transportation. Total approximate cost of the program per year is $2,800. Classroom-related instruction is at least 160 hours per year, held twice per week in the evening. On-the-job training is 2,000 hours per year. Applications for the program beginning September 2020 are available online now and must be submitted by August 14, 2020. To find out more about HVAC apprenticeships, contact Stephanie Anderson at Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors of Maryland, sanderson@haccmd.org or HCC’S Apprenticeship Coordinator Matthew Baylis at mbaylis@harford.edu.

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