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State agencies train to help residents reduce energy costs

CONCORD ó The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Program and the Office of Customized Training at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College are training North Carolina state agencies to help lower-income citizens save energy and reduce their heating and cooling expenses.
Classes comprising representatives from more than 30 state agencies will undergo the training at the community college Oct. 12 through 15 and Oct. 19 through 22.
The N.C. Division of Health and Human Services’ Office of Economic Opportunity is working with the college to train the state agencies to provide services of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program. The program assists lower-income citizens by conducting home energy audits and diagnostic testing to determine levels of carbon monoxide and identify and recommend health, safety and heating-air conditioning efficiency improvements. Heating and air conditioning systems that are inoperable, highly inefficient or pose a health threat are repaired or replaced by the program.
Faculty members from the college’s program will provide the week-long training sessions. The classes will focus on the mechanics and design of heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems. Participants will learn to use the Right-Suite Universal system for load calculations and design applications, with input directly from the software manufacturer.
The training will take place at the community college’s Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration facilities, located at the college’s Cabarrus Business & Technology Center in Concord.
“Everyone in the AHR Program is excited and proud to work with the Division of Health and Human Services and the WAP (Weatherization Assistance Program),” said Joe Christie, Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration program head at the college. “It speaks well of our program and graduates and RCCC’s Office of Customized Training to be selected to provide this training.
“It’s also rewarding to know we will we help agencies across the state provide assistance to families in need. The training comes at a good time, with cold weather approaching,” Christie added.
The college offers a certificate, a one-year diploma and a two-year associate degree in heating and air-conditioning.
The certificate program prepares students for entry-level jobs with HVAC/R contractors. Students completing the diploma program are prepared for positions as residential and light commercial installation and service technicians. The associate degree program provides added training needed to install and maintain commercial and industrial systems.
Students in the program also have the added benefit of learning and practicing in a 1,200-square-foot facility that offers many of the situations and challenges encountered installing and servicing residential systems. The new facility resembles a two-story house, complete with an attic and crawl space.
“Our laboratory and storage facilities give students an opportunity to gain practical experience in assessing a building’s heating and cooling needs, determining heating/cooling zones, and installing duct work,” Christie said. “This kind of hands-on training ensures our students are ready for work as soon as they graduate. That’s what local contractors have a high demand for: well-trained technicians who are ready to work now.”
For more information about heating and air programs, contact Christie at 704-216-3908, instructor Jon Crockett at 704-216-3090 or instructor Fred Loving at 704-216-3912.
RCCC’s Continuing Education Department offers EPA technician certification training in CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) recovery.

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