MPS students learn HVAC skills, earn MATC college credit with new partnership

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It's a pathway to college and to a promising career.

Thanks to a new partnership, some Milwaukee Public School students are getting hands-on learning with HVAC systems.

The ribbon is officially cut on the new HVAC lab at MPS's Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education.

"We learned how to jump start the furnace. We learned how to do continuous connections with different switches to turn on the furnace," said freshman Jamarion Banda. "Since this is a form of saving money so I don't have to call somebody to come fix my furnace and A/C, I can just do that myself."

Johnson Controls donated HVAC equipment and $100,000 to the MATC Foundation.

They joined with MPS and the MPS Foundation to update the school's existing HVAC lab and start the new three-year program.

"We're looking at a program that can change the lives of young people by preparing them for a family-supporting job someday," said Johnson Controls Chairman/CEO George Oliver.

MATC's Director of Apprenticeship David Polk said it's a progressive course that will teach students more technical parts of the industry.

Students who complete the program could earn more than 16 credits to MATC, a semester's worth of credits. 

"We wanted to build this out so that companies are looking at these 18, 19-year-old senior students as some of the highest-touted candidates coming into the industry," said Polk.

This HVAC education doesn't stop with just these students.

Polk said the next step is offering community night classes at MATC which are set to begin next Fall.

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