Johnson Controls Invests in UACCM HVAC Training

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) was presented with a $100,000 check from Johnson Controls to invest in training and educational opportunities to support students in the college’s Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Technology (HVAC) program. UACCM is one of 10 colleges nationwide to receive a grant in 2023 through Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program. 

As thousands of skilled technicians are projected to leave the workforce each year over the next decade due to heightened retirements or career changes, UACCM and Johnson Controls share a common goal of prioritizing investments in workforce training and recruitment to bridge the skilled trades gap. This grant will be essential in providing HVAC students with the best education, equipment, training, and mentoring that will lead graduates to successful careers.

“UACCM is thrilled with this exciting and important partnership. The leadership and vision of Johnson Controls is to be acknowledged and commended. This partnership opportunity made possible by Johnson Controls is a great example of an industry taking the initiative of responding to their workforce needs by growing their own skilled technicians,” said UACCM Chancellor Lisa Willenberg. “By partnering with UACCM’s workforce education and training tech hub through providing scholarships and equipment, Johnson Controls is removing barriers and paving the way for their future technicians by helping fund those trainees in a state-of-the-art training facility with quality instructors who have had successful careers in their field.  Business and industry aligning with education benefits all parties involved.”

Johnson Controls employees in the surrounding area also will work with UACCM to mentor and encourage students to join the skilled trades workforce. UACCM welcomed Johnson Controls General Manager for West Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma markets Deepak Chandrasekaran, along with several Arkansas-based Johnson Control representatives to campus for an introductory meeting between the mentors and mentees. Through relationship building with industry professionals, students will be able to ask mentors questions and get a glimpse into the promising career trajectory following training completion. 

UACCM Vice Chancellor for Academics Dr. Richard Counts noted that during the first year of the multi-year grant, the funds will be split with $50,000 directed toward the purchase of personal protective equipment and new trainers/equipment and $50,000 will be used for “last dollar” scholarships for HVAC students.

“Not only are we investing in the next generation of workforce leaders, but the mentoring associated with this initiative reminds our employees why we do what we do,” said Julie Brandt, president of Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls. “We’re looking at our future, and through partnerships with these colleges, we’re all contributing to a better supported trades industry.”

To learn more about the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program, visit:


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