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Temperatures and Need for HVAC Technicians Keep Rising … Local Employers Hire Five DMC Students During Contract Signing Ceremony

Article by Melinda Eddleman

Meteorologists have touted this summer as the hottest one on record, and the demand for keeping cool and the air conditioner running smoothly has never been greater! So while the temperature continues to rise, so does the demand for Del Mar College Air Conditioning Applied Technology and Building Maintenance Applied Technology graduates as employers in the HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) industry try to meet those needs.

In fact, 27 DMC students will complete 55 combined Level 1 and 2 Certificates or Associate in Applied Science degrees in one of these two programs and receive their certification on Aug. 17. But, before that date, some students have already landed jobs with local employers and participated during a contract signing ceremony at the College’s Windward Campus on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

The ceremony recognized five students with three Coastal Bend employers, including:

·      Kyle Baker, Donald Woodson and Timothy Zincke with Scott Air Conditioning,
·      Julian Garcia with the Port of Corpus Christi, and
·      Anthony Ghillowe with Just Better HVAC.

We work with dozens of small and large businesses to provide careers for students in our programs. There are 255 licensed HVAC contractors in Nueces County alone, and 80% of our students are employed by the time they graduate.

Paul Creacy, Interim Chair of the Architecture, Aviation and Automotive Department/Program Coordinator and Instructor of Building Maintenance Applied Technology

Creacy noted that two of the students signing contracts during the ceremony, Baker and Woodson, earned their HVAC certification last fall and are double-majors completing their associate’s degrees from the Building Maintenance Applied Technology program this summer.

“Many of our students are double majors because the Building Maintenance curriculum covers many areas such as plumbing, electrical, construction and general repairs that are involved with installing a HVAC system,” Creacy said. “Completing training in both programs means that our students have the extra skills to advance further in their careers and are employable in any size market across the country or around the world.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2022 a projected 5% increase in openings for HVAC mechanics and installers between 2021 and 2031. Reasons vary for the HVAC industry’s growth, but according to Creacy, new building construction, retrofitting or replacing old systems and evolving environmental laws are some of the forces fueling demand for qualified technicians. The bureau’s website  also reports that in May 2022 the average wage in Texas was $51,790 yearly or $24.90 per hour for these professionals.

Professor of Air Conditioning Applied Technology Ben Gregory said, “Our program has continued to grow and build on the everchanging rules and laws that control the industry, and we’re consistently keeping up with relevant changes in technologies and environmental demands. For our graduates, this forward-looking concept ensures they have the knowledge to be successful in their careers and has established our program as one of the top programs in Texas.

Ben Gregory, Professor of Air Conditioning Applied Technology

This summer’s 20 graduates from the Air Conditioning Applied Technology program include Grant Brou, Javier Cantu, Matthew Cardona, Jimmy Gallegos, Julian Garcia, Anthony Ghillowe, Jose Guerrero, Peyton Hiller, Weston Juelg, Antonio Lozano, Haven Mish, Luis Porfirio, Dariel Rios, Adam Rivas, Samuel Rush, Raul Saenz, Javier Salazar, Lionel Sanchez, Jason Valencia and Timothy Zincke. Additionally, the seven Building Maintenance Applied Technology graduates include Kyle Baker, Emma Franco, Collin Lalonde, Matthew Martinez, Hector Rodriguez, Nicanor Velasquez and Donald Woodson; and they all completed the Air Conditioning Applied Technology program last fall.

Those completing the Air Conditioning Applied Technology program have trained to become HVAC technicians who are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing heating, cooling and ventilation systems in residential, commercial and industrial facilities as does the Building Maintenance Applied Technology program for repairs. These students have received hands-on experiences working with tools of the trade, equipment and HVAC systems found in South Texas.

Curriculum development for both programs includes representatives from area employers serving on advisory committees, including individuals for the Air Conditioning Advisory Committee coming from AEP Homes, Affordable Air Conditioning, Carrier Enterprises, City of Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend Controls, Farr’s AC Service, Fergusons, Gemaire Distribution, H5 Consulting, Just Better HVAC, Lennox Industries, McNatt Air Conditioning, One Hour Air Conditioning, Port of Corpus Christi, Scott Air Conditioning and Tridium Controls. Building Maintenance Advisory Committee members represent AEP Homes; Corpus Christi Apartment Association; Corpus Christi Army Depot; Corpus Christi Independent School District; Del Mar College Environmental, Health & Safety; Fergusons; Greystar Properties; Mr. Appliance; Port Ayers Appliance Service & Repair; Port of Corpus Christi; Reliable Parts; Scott Air Conditioning; and Servpro Restoration.

Visit Del Mar College’s website at www.delmar.edu/degrees/index.html to learn more about both the Air Conditioning Applied Technology and Building Maintenance Applied Technology programs. Registration for the College’s fall semester is underway with classes beginning Aug. 28, including courses in these two programs.

Individuals can also contact Department Chair Paul Creacy at pcreacy@delmar.edu or call the Architecture, Aviation and Automotive Department at 361-698-1725.

To learn more about current registration opportunities, visit www.delmar.edu/registration.

 “The HVAC industry is essential in South Texas as we’ve all experienced the rising temperatures this summer,” said Creacy. “So as technicians retire and our community continues to grow, Del Mar College has established itself as the premier resource for the training and certification needed to enter this ‘heated industry’ with the knowledge and skills that allow graduates’ careers to rise faster than this summer heat.”


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.