New Volusia County Schools program in HVAC

DELTONA, Fla. – As Volusia County Schools welcomes students for the new year, a new program has been launched to prepare students for high school jobs.

What you need to know

  • The new HVAC program will have approximately 160 students and 2 instructors
  • A Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities grant made the new program possible
  • The program is open to students in the entire district
  • For those who are interested, find out more information here

It is a county first-of-its-kind program in heating and air conditioning at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona.

District leaders, educators, and parents got a taste of the new facility for the new year.

Stephanie Allen’s son Alexander joins the program.

“I think he’s going to like it because I think it’s going to be a lot of hands-on. Honestly, I think it’s fantastic that with so much equipment they’ve been able to get the funding they had,” said Allen.

It’s all thanks to a Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant of over $500,000 by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

The program starts with 160 students and two instructors.

Leland Wilbert brings nine years of practical experience to education. He is a first time teacher, but he comes from a family of theirs.

“Make it hot, make it cold. This will all show the kids what different elements and different heat loads do to a house,” Wilbert said as he showed Spectrum News 13 equipment in the new workshop.

He went on to say, “This is a good way to take a unit that is normally 50 feet apart and put it right on the wall so they can do it all at once.”

Wilbert said his HVAC job in the field misses him, but being a new dad, he wanted to share his knowledge and passion with the youth.

It is a field that is expected to have a local shortage of about 900,000 workers by 2030.

“Every student who enrolls in our HVAC program will earn multiple certifications and they will be immediately employable in the field and eligible for pre-internship positions to enhance their skills,” said Paul Nehrig, principal of Pine Ridge High School.

With this new facility, students now have state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips.

“Living in Florida, we always need HVAC professionals,” Nehrig said.

This new program is open to students in Volusia County. Students will spend part of their day in the program and will be able to progress to different levels as they progress.

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