/ Modified jan 25, 2024 2:12 p.m.

Pima Community College HVAC program receives $1.2 million

Industry leaders said the investment is important in solving the shortage in HVAC workers.

grijalva PCC Congressman Raúl Grijalva speaks to HVAC students at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024.
Hannah Cree

Pima Community College is expanding its commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning training programs with a grant secured by Rep. Raúl Grijalva.

Officials for Pima Community College said the 1.2 million dollars will go towards purchasing training equipment for new students, and providing supplemental training for existing HVAC workers in Southern Arizona.

Grijalva congratulated a group of a few dozen students enrolled in an introductory class on Thursday.

“We are very proud to have been a source of investment in the future of the college and more importantly, the people you prepare for the future. This is a down payment on what we need to do for this community,” he said.

Community Liaison for Green Valley Cooling and Heating Peter Purves said the expanded training program is a greatly needed investment for the HVAC industry that’s facing a severe shortage of technicians.

“For years, we didn't focus on an alternative to getting a four year degree, so the workforce dried up and it’s being carried by people that are gonna be retiring in a few years,” he said.

Purves said recruiting new workers to trade school programs like Pima’s Building and Construction Technology program is crucial in Arizona’s climate.

“In Arizona, unless you like living in 118 degree weather, your air conditioning guy is your best friend,” he said.

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