(Feb 2, 2022) —The Air Conditioning Technology program at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) recently received a $5000 grant from the national Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). PERC is a not-for-profit organization operated and funded by the propane industry that provides, supports, and promotes propane safety, training, and education programs.
PERC awards grants to winning technical and community colleges for teaching approved propane curriculum from PERC, using propane equipment for laboratory instruction and encouraging students to get Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) certification. SRTC was the only college in Georgia to receive the grant.
SRTC’s Air Conditioning Technology Program Chair Mike Clements said, “We are getting requests for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) technicians on a regular basis. Students who graduate with hands-on training in propane will have access to more career opportunities after graduation. While a propane curriculum was a part of our existing training model, we have not had access to state-of-the-art LPG training equipment until now. Thanks to this grant, we now have a full setup of LPG tank, lines, and connections in our classroom lab.”
Clements was able to use the funds to purchase a new LPG conversion kit, an air compressor, run gas supply lines, a gas furnace, a hydrometer, and new textbooks. In addition, PERC furnished two new gas pressure regulator boards so that students at both SRTC-Moultrie and SRTC-Thomasville will have access to the hands-on training tools.
Dan Richardson, president and CEO of Conger LP Gas, serves on SRTC’s Air Conditioning Technology Advisory Board, and is a PERC council member.
Richardson said, “American companies are facing an increasing shortage of skilled service technicians, and that includes the propane industry. As our industry continues to grow, the demand for a trained workforce will also climb. This grant program is designed to help prepare more graduates for vital, rewarding careers in our industry.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in South Georgia is $20 per hour. The Air Conditioning Technology program at SRTC is a three-semester course of study that prepares students for careers in the industry.
The program emphasizes a combination of air conditioning theory and practical application necessary for successful employment. For more information about the Air Conditioning Technology program at SRTC, click here.