Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce Development Reggie Newson talks about industry demand for technicians trained in the skills taught at Gateway Technical College's newly opened energy labs. Newson was speaking at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the college's labs at its Kenosha Campus July 18. Gateway also hosted a 100th anniversary celebration for Trane Corporation.
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Job growth for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians is estimated to grow 34 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gateway Technical College’s new Energy Systems Training Labs are designed to address that need.
The College celebrated the opening of the labs and its partnerships with energy industry businesses today at its Kenosha Campus. A special ceremony was held to honor Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and solutions – a brand of Ingersoll Rand – in its 100th year. Trane is a key partner in the development of the labs and the curriculum taught there.
The six labs bring cutting-edge training technology to equip Gateway graduates with the skills needed to enter an expanding job market for well-versed technicians with sustainable energy system skills.
Trane and Gateway closely collaborated to enhance the college’s HVAC program career and technical education to help close the skills gap to meet industry-required skills levels. The labs feature advanced HVAC technology solutions. Trane also worked with Gateway in updating the HVAC systems serving the campus, creating a living laboratory for HVAC students.
The Energy System lab design was also supported by the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), of which Gateway and Trane are members. NC3 was established to address the need for strong industry partnerships with educational institutions to develop, implement, and sustain industry-recognized portable certifications with strong validation and assessment standards. Graduates of Gateway’s program will also achieve appropriate energy industry certification through NC3.
The labs include equipment in residential and commercial/industrial heating and cooling, building automation, refrigeration, renewable energy systems and geoexchange technology. Other business partners have collaborated with Gateway to provide additional leading edge technology training equipment.
Program graduates who’ve trained in the labs have the ability to run HVAC systems to make buildings and equipment operate more efficiently using the latest technology. They are also prepared for specific green collar careers in wind and solar.
Speakers: Morna Foy, President Wisconsin Technical College System; Reggie Newson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; Matt Gates, Vice President, Trane Contracting Solutions
“This is significant for the college,” said Gateway President Bryan Albrecht. “We see employers in these job markets calling for technicians with skills that go beyond HVAC. Employers are looking for skills in operating those systems in a sustainable manner.
“In addition to the new and emerging careers in wind and solar energy systems, others exist which have been re-evaluated or recreated because of the need for technicians with technology skills, or the ability to run systems sustainably.”
Gateway strongly believes in training workers to successfully enter the next generation of energy conservation. Gateway embeds sustainability into its energy systems curriculum. Whether it’s training graduates to recommend a sustainable energy system, installation or operation, they teach the various technologies that would allow the systems to conserve energy.
Corporate partners have helped Gateway ensure the labs are cutting edge and the equipment is the type used in industry today.
About Gateway Technical College:
Gateway Technical College collaborates with communities in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties to ensure economic growth and viability by providing education, training, leadership and technological resources to meet the changing needs of students, employers and communities.
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Can, Ingersoll Rand, Schlage, Thermo King, and Trane—work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Trane solutions optimize indoor environments with a broad portfolio of energy-efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, building and contracting services, parts support and advanced control. Ingersoll Rand is a $14billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit ingersollrand.com or trane.com