King’s Heating & Plumbing, Inc. have joined forces with Kokomo’s Ivy Tech campus, giving students in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program a new study space.
The King’s Heating & Plumbing, Inc. HVAC Classroom includes overhead projectors and computers that previously weren’t available to students. The space also has two large garage-style doors that will allow instructors to move equipment in and out of the classroom for demonstration purposes without having to move into a lab.
“HVAC is an important part of people’s lives, so much so that 68 percent of all energy use is HVAC related,” said Bill Slonaker, chair of Ivy Tech Kokomo’s HVAC program. Highly trained HVAC technicians are in high demand in fields that include commercial, industrial, residential, and hospitals as well as energy-related fields such as geothermal and solar thermal.
U.S. Department of Labor data shows that Indiana expects to have 2,511 annual job openings in the field. The median HVAC salary in Indiana is $23.75 per hour.
“This project is so good for our community,” Jerry King, president of Kings Heating & Plumbing, Inc., said. “I really think we need to have more young folks get into this field and Ivy Tech is a great place for them to learn the skills they need. With so many skilled tradesmen retiring, the service industry needs to attract the young generation.”
King’s Heating & Plumbing, Inc. is in its 75th year of business. Since it started in 1946, the operation has grown from one truck and two employees to 21 trucks and 23 employees, some who have been with the company for over 35 years.
Ivy Tech offers certificates, technical certificates, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC Technology, credentials that prepare students for jobs in the field at various skill levels. Classes are lab-based and most include hands-on portion where students train and work on furnace and air conditioning equipment.
The King’s donation comes as Ivy Tech closes in on its goal of raising $3 million in community support to complete the $43 million transformation of the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus.
The new campus will be officially unveiled at a community open house on Sept. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.