Robert Croom, program director for Air Conditioning, Building Automation and Commercial Refrigeration at GPTC (left), and student Adam Lovell collaborate on a building engineering project at the college’s DeKalb Campus in Clarkston. Photo provided by GPTC.
CLARKSTON, GA — Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) received a $95,000 grant as part of the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program, which aims to equip students with in-demand knowledge and skills to support employment upon graduation.
GPTC is one of 10 technical and community colleges across the nation receiving grants for the 2021‒2022 academic year but the only college in the state of Georgia. The grant is provided by Johnson Controls in an effort to expand associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security and digital building automation systems, all areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts an increased need for skilled trades expertise in the coming years.
Johnson Controls offers the world’s largest portfolio of smart, healthy sustainable building technology, software and service solutions/
“The focus of what we do at Georgia Piedmont Tech is workforce development. This partnership with Johnson Controls strengthens the bond between industry and education and helps pave the way for students to learn the skills necessary to enter these growing industries,” said Cory Thompson, executive director of institutional advancement and the GPTC Foundation.
The college will use its funding to purchase additional lab equipment for the Building Automaton Systems program and to upgrade hands-on training simulators. Further, the college will refresh its commercial refrigeration and welding programs and update related program marketing to underserved communities.
“We also plan to build up our Sustainable Technologies technical certificate program through added controls equipment and teaching manpower so the program can be revived,” said Robert Croom, program director for Air Conditioning, Building Automation and Commercial Refrigeration at GPTC.
Building owners and contracting firms must now consider the environmental impacts of their activities and the alternative options which are now available to them with the advent of advanced building control systems, smart grid technologies, alternative energy like wind and solar power, investment-grade energy audits and the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, added Croom regarding the significance a program focused on sustainability.
In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support GPTC through volunteering and mentorships, providing students with real-world experience, internship opportunities and professional networking connections.
“Johnson Controls is proud to build upon our significant presence in the city by partnering with Georgia Piedmont Tech 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 Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Grady Crosby. “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. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country’s leading community colleges.”
The full list of grant recipients can be found here.