POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Career Center offers several programs to students wanting to experience a simulated work environment to prepare them for the careers they will have in the future.
The Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling class at the career center is offered to junior and senior high school students. HVAC instructor Stephen Richardson shared that after a student completes HVAC Tech 1 and HVAC Tech 2, they will have the skills and credentials to get a HVAC job. He said he has even had a few students post graduation enroll in the HVAC program.
Richardson shared that he has been a contractor for over 20 years, so he spoke with his director about the career center starting a HVAC program. He said that since this program is still new, the program is not yet filled to capacity; however, once more students start enrolling, he will start requiring the students to go through an interview process for entrance into the program.
Richardson explained how the HVAC program is a strictly simulated work environment; the students that enroll in this class must act like professionals. He said that his students must sign in and out of the class every day and they must conduct work place meetings every morning. Richardson added that the students also have a meeting every Friday to figure out what their paycheck would equal for the week. He said that when his students come against a problem, they must consult with the company leaders of the class as Richardson tries to stay hands off.
Richardson shared that for a class assignment his students will learn the ins and outs of fixing and installing a heat pump system and then they will take those skills and apply them to installing a full HVAC system in a house replica.
Richardson said that his HVAC students installed the heating and cooling for Point Pleasant Junior/ Senior High School’s Robert and Louise Claflin Baseball Facility and do work for Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.