Opportunities Abound at Cape Tech's Community School

December 8, 2021

Cape Cod Chronicle

01 December 2021

By: William F. Galvin

PLEASANT LAKE —Over the past two years, working through a state grant, approximately 30 Cape residents have had the opportunity to graduate from a Heating, Ventilation andAir Conditioning (HVAC) training program at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School. Only they’re not high schoolers.

The HVAC program is run through The Community School program, which oversees adult education at Cape Tech. The intensive eight-week program is designed to not only teach the basics of the industry, but it ensures students are immediately hirable upon graduation.

The program was set up through a state Workforce Success Grant and funded through a Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY2019 appropriation. The $141,084 grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development focuses on providing technical training for adults in a field where employers are in search of employees on Cape Cod.

With the pandemic, the program experienced some delays and the school has scheduled one more training session beginning in February, Community School Director Carol Connolly said Tuesday. The plan is to place 17 students in that HVAC program, and the application process is just starting, Connolly said. Applications canbe obtained and more information located at communityschool@capetech.us.

The HVAC training program was the brainchild of several employers in need of knowledgeable staff. The companies worked with MassHire’s Cape and Islands Workforce Board, the Cape and Islands Career Center and the Housing Assistance Corporation to establish this program.

The businesses ,including W. Vernon Whiteley, Inc, Robie’s Heating and Cooling, Rusty’s Inc.and Seaside Gas Service, brought the concept to Cape Tech and the school staff did their part in pursuing this initiative.

The eight-week program includes 80 hours of training to include theory, hands-on practice, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour safety and health training program, and an Environmental Protection Administration certification. The program is taught by Don Hebert and Brian Duarte of W. Vernon Whiteley,Inc.

“This is agreat opportunity for us to get some potential employees,” Eric Whitley toldThe Chronicle two years ago when the program was getting underway. “Thisprovides a jump start on the technical knowledge under-employed and unemployedpeople need to become technicians.”

Students of theprogram also have the opportunity to shadow an employee at an area HVACcompany, and participate in a five-hour career training workshop at theMassHire Cape and Islands Career Center immediately following graduation. Theyalso have interviews with area HVAC companies.

The program hasbeen successful in finding graduates positions. Connolly said they had 16graduates from the program on Nov. 12, and one local employer hired threegraduates immediately.

“We really lookfor jobs for people,” Connolly said. “We keep eliciting the employers.”

The CommunitySchool is the adult education and certification division of the regionalvocational school in Pleasant Lake, and while the pandemic curtailed programsfor nearly two years, the doors are opening to a number of classes. Year-longprograms, such as medical, dental and veterinary classes are ongoing, Connollysaid.

The winter 2022programs are now open for enrollment. Connolly said 70 people are entering intothe electrical certification program. There are a couple of new programs beingoffered, including Apparel Design and Production, which teaches the use offabric and creation of clothing. There is also a conversational Spanish course.There is space available in each of those classes, Connolly added. Some classeswill begin as early as January 4.

There are alsolongstanding courses being offered, including Contractor Licensing, CosmetologyLicensing, Manicure Licensing, and Martha’s Vineyard Electrical Code andTheory.


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