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Tallahassee HVAC Group Launches Apprenticeship Program

 In Community, Company News

Tallahassee has a shortage of certified HVAC service technicians. Now there’s an apprenticeship program to help fix that.

“There’s no shortage of people wanting to work,” Patrick Barineau, president of the Tallahassee Regional Air Conditioning Contractors Association said. “But there’s a major shortage of the people with the correct training.”

Barineau, president of Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning, and his group joined Florida’s statewide organization, the Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractor’s Association.

“We’ve never had an apprenticeship program for our industry. Us, as contractors, wanted access to an apprenticeship customized for our companies,” Barineau said. “(Tallahassee Community College does) a great job at it, but this gives us a whole other access point to develop the talent.”

The state group, FRACCA, has a statewide apprenticeship program. TRACCA and Barineau tailored the state’s program for the Tallahassee area. They are rolling it out in conjunction with Lively Technical College and the state of Florida.

“If you’re a member of our association, you have access to the program,” Barineau said. Association members can send employees 18 and older through the three-year program.

Employees will work regular shifts with their companies and attend classes during the week. Each employer will pay $600 to be part of the three-year program, but for students, it will be free. CareerSource will provide students with a tool kit, and the state of Florida is offering grants for the program. Books are supplied by the student’s employer.

There are about 16 area students enrolled as of July 22, Barineau said, but other programs around the state have 80-90 apprentices enrolled.

There’s a lot of momentum for the trade industry and the growth of not just HVAC but electrical and plumbing,” Barineau said. “There’s a big future for this type of work.”

The TRACCA program is set to start in September at Lively. It may be rescheduled due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information and scheduling updates, call 850-354-5222 or email traccaapprenticeship@gmail.com.

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