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Hiring Hoosiers: Investing in the future Hoosier workforce

Brett Schulz.JPG
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 27, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — One of the city's largest employers is investing in the classroom of the present with an eye on preparing a future workforce for jobs in demand today and tomorrow.

Brett Schulz is wired to learn the basics of electricity. Mastering the circuit board is key to this HVAC training.

"I'm doing this class so hopefully I can create my business," Schulz said.

Brett is not only interested in becoming an electrician, but also plans to get a plumbing certification.

"The big dream is commercial — residential then work myself up," Schulz said.

This program is at the Area 31 Career Center, part of Wayne Township schools. It received a boost from Carrier through $45,000 in funding over three years and equipment for training.

"With our ability to provide Carrier equipment for real-world training, we're able to develop the next generation of HVAC technicians," Justin Keppy, Carrier president, said.

The company with a furnace making plant on the west side of Indianapolis believes the investment will help address the pending shortage of air conditioning and furnace technicians in Indiana and across the country.

"You can work on residential equipment, which is real-world heating and cooling equipment," Keppy said. "You can also work on the light commercial side so you could work on hospital equipment or office building or retail buildings. There really is a lot of opportunities that training like this can generate."

The career center also offers a night session for adults seeking similar HVAC training.

"Our state government understands how important these programs are to the economy as well as the livelihood of the individuals living in our community," Dr. Patrick Biggerstaff, director of career and technical education at Area 31 Career Center, said.

Brett knows a lot is on the table. He plans to remain plugged in knowing his future depends on it.

The Area 31 Career Center offers 29 other career and technical programs.