Local High School Students Jump-Start Career in HVAC
High school juniors Joshua Hunt (Dublin High School) and Travis Smith (Wilkinson County High School) are getting a head start on college though the Move on When Ready Program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College.
Both students are enrolled in OFTC’s Air Conditioning Technology Program; they attend college classes in the morning and their high school classes in the afternoons. “I wanted to try something different with my life,” Hunt said. “I’m getting tired of video games and I wanted to learn a trade. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school and I thought that learning the air conditioning trade would be a great start.”
After enrolling in the program, Hunt no longer doubts his future. “By taking the Air Conditioning program, I now know what I want to do after graduation.”
And his time in the classroom has been fruitful, to say the least. “I’ve learned soldering and brazing, how to check out compressors, how to see if the compressors have a good valve, and I’ve learned about the different refrigerants. I’ve really enjoyed the experience,” he shared. “I’d tell anyone thinking about the MOWR program to go for it. You won’t regret it.”
Like Hunt, Smith wanted a career he knew he could count on. “It will provide me with a good paying job and I hope to finish college, graduate, start as a Heating and Air Tech and eventually open my own business up,” he said.
And by getting a head start while still in high school, Smith is confident his experience will help him get started. “I wanted to get a head start so I
could see what it was like,” he shared. “It will help me find a job because people will know I went to school for this and they’ll most likely be looking for someone who already knows how to do it.”
“I like air conditioning because you get to work on stuff hands-on, like changing out the freon or soldering and pulling a vacuum,” he said. “It’s nothing like high school and anyone interested in it should go for it because it’s really fun.”
Not only are these two high school students learning a trade, they’re learning how to navigate through college successfully, but not without the support of their instructors and high school coordinator. “Mrs. Hobbs has really been influential to me because she’s helped me when I needed something changed in the class. And my instructors have been great about keeping me on track and encouraging me to keep going,” Smith said.
“Mr. Livingston (OFTC Air Conditioning Instructor) has really inspired me and my other instructors have helped me in many ways to keep me on track with my work.”