Johnson Controls commits $15 million to community college HVAC programs

MATC among initial recipients

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Johnson Controls said it is investing $15 million over the next five years to support nonprofit community colleges.

The company will direct the funding to expand associate degree and certificate programs related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security, and digital building automation systems.

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Milwaukee Area Technical College is among 10 colleges to receive a total $1 million investment as part of the program’s first phase.

MATC will receive an initial $100,000 grant, which is renewable annually for up to four years. In addition, Johnson Controls employees will support MATC through volunteering and mentorships, providing students with real-world experience, internship opportunities and professional networking connections, the college said.

“We are grateful for this generous grant from Johnson Controls, which will provide the resources to expand our high-quality, in-demand heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) program. The pandemic highlighted the importance of indoor air quality and Johnson Controls is investing in opportunities in this critical and rewarding career,” said MATC president Vicki Martin.

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MATC will use the funding to support the HVAC lab at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Barack Obama School of Technical Education for dual-enrollment academy students, provide a success coach for those students and traditional MATC students enrolled in HVAC coursework, and support field trips, guest speaker and other career exploration efforts.

“Johnson Controls is proud to build upon our significant presence in the city by partnering with Milwaukee Area Technical College on the Community College Partnership Program. We believe the program will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and the city,” said Grady Crosby, vice president of public affairs and chief diversity officer at Johnson Controls. “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.”

The initial 10 colleges receiving grants are located in cities where Johnson Controls has a significant customer base and employee presence. In addition to MATC, other recipients include Kennedy-King College (Chicago), Suffolk County Community College (Selden, New York), Montgomery College (Rockville, Maryland), Community College of Baltimore County, Lone Star College (Conroe, Texas), Henry Ford College (Dearborn, Michigan), Essex County Community College (Newark, New Jersey), Camden County College (Blackwood, New Jersey), and Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, Georgia).

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A Johnson Controls spokesman said the company plans to add 10 to 15 community colleges each school year over the next five years until it has invested in 50 colleges across the country. Renewals depend on the colleges reapplying and meeting metrics around recruitment, retention, on-track-to-graduate rates and Johnson Controls volunteerism rates.

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