Johnson Controls invests $15M in HVAC community schools

Written on: July 22, 2021 by ICM

Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, today launched the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program. As part of the program, Johnson Controls will give $15 million over the next five years to support academic programs at nonprofit community colleges. Starting in the 2021-2022 academic year, the program will endow a total of $1 million to 10 community colleges across the U.S. In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support the community colleges through volunteering and mentorships.
The grants support the expansion of associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security and digital building automation systems, all areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trades expertise in the coming years. A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities by equipping them with in-demand knowledge and skills that will support employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation.
“Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country’s leading community colleges,” said Grady Crosby, VP of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. “The Community College Partnership Program supports institutions through its funding and supports their students through volunteerism and mentorships. We believe this will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and their cities.”
The initial 10 community colleges receiving grants are located in cities where Johnson Controls has significant customer base and employee presence. Funding for each community college differs based on its needs; in general, colleges will use the support to purchase and develop classroom materials, learning technologies and student scholarships. Local Johnson Controls employees in each market will serve as volunteer educators, providing students with counseling and real-world experiences. This mentoring will be directly incorporated into various college programs and also provide a pathway for student internships and entry-level employment opportunities at Johnson Controls.
2021-2022 Community College Partnership Award Recipients:

  • Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL): Founded in 1911, Kennedy-King College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education institutions. The college will use its funding to establish an HVAC certification bootcamp, develop a job shadowing and field experience course as well as provide students with their own HVAC toolsets.
  • Suffolk County Community College (Selden, NY): Founded in 1959, Suffolk County Community College is a public community college, sponsored by SUNY and Suffolk County, NY. The college will use its funding to invest in state-of-the-art training simulators and growth of a guided mentoring program featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling.
  • Montgomery College (Rockville, MD): Founded in 1946, Montgomery College is a public community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to expand program marketing to local, low-income communities, hire additional faculty to serve as retention and recruitment associates and create a Building Automation Systems lab.
  • Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD): Founded in 1957, Community College of Baltimore County is a public community college with campuses across Baltimore County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to hire additional faculty and grow a guided mentoring program featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling.
  • Lone Star College (Conroe, TX): Founded in 1992, Lone Star College is a Texas community college in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The college will use its funding to provide financial assistance for students to obtain HVAC toolkits, PPE and learning materials, as well as tuition support. Further, the college will use funding to grow programs that encourage students to go beyond HVAC/R certification courses and complete a full Associates Degree.
  • Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI): Founded in 1938, Henry Ford College is a public two-year college in Dearborn, west of Detroit. The college will use its funding to expand the Energy Technology-HVAC program into modular units that will also be developed into open-source, online educational resources that can be shared and further developed by other learning institutions. Further, the college will purchase HVAC simulators featuring industry standard components.
  • Essex Country Community College (Newark, NJ): Founded in 1968, Essex County College is a public community college in Essex County, New Jersey. The college will use its funding to purchase learning materials and training technologies as well as create a partnership with CompTIA to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and help desk positions.
  • Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ): Founded in 1965, Camden County College is a public community college serving western central New Jersey and the greater Camden area. The college will use its funding to expand its HVAC technician training and Programmable Logic Controller Certificate of Achievement programs. Further, the college will develop a Programmable Logic Controller certificate program specifically tied to using Johnson Controls technology.
  • Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, GA): Founded in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, serving students in the greater metro Atlanta area. The college will use its funding to purchase additional lab equipment for the Building Automaton Systems program and upgrade hands-on training simulators. Further, the college will refresh its commercial refrigeration and welding programs and update related program marketing to underserved communities.
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee, WI): Founded in 1912, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public, two-year vocational-technical college. The college will use its funding to expand local recruitment for HVAC career training as well as upgrade lab and training equipment.

According to a 2020 report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, part of the United Nations environment program, the buildings construction industry accounts for 40% of total global energy-related carbon emissions. And three quarters of those emissions are attributable to building operations. Yet the current renovation rate of buildings is less than one percent. It will take commitment and expertise across generations to reverse the damage already done to our environment and then continue with a new, sustainable way of life. Specialty knowledge is needed to develop more sustainable spaces and deploy and maintain operational and informational technologies that drive healthier buildings. Therefore, Johnson Controls is investing in the technicians of tomorrow, today.