On April 25, ECA celebrated our partnership with Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Commercial HVAC Pathways Vocational Lab that JCI built in ECA’s Knight Green Jobs Training Center. We were in great company: Governor Tom Wolf; Mayor Jim Kenney; Pat Clancy, CEO of Philadelphia Works; Senator Christine Tartaglione; Nick Sracic, Public Sector Energy Executive at JCI; Michelle Armstrong, Executive Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education, School District of Philadelphia; Emily Schapira, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority, and; State Representatives Danilo Burgos and Angel Cruz. We all welcomed this new workforce development opportunity to train local Philadelphia youth, returning citizens, and unemployed/underemployed individuals who are looking to build a career in the growing clean energy economy. Twenty-seven students hailing from the Philadelphia School District and ASPIRA’s Olney Charter High School who were selected to become training participants in the program’s first class demonstrated the equipment in the new lab to their families, potential employers, and other invitees.
The timing for JCI’s collaboration with ECA couldn’t be better. The majority of HVAC workers are white men who are rapidly approaching retirement age, and Pennsylvania HVAC employers are already hard pressed to fill open positions with trained workers. ECA’s job placement rate is 88% for our students whose diversity reflects the city we serve. Starting salaries for these new hires will range from $30,000 to $40,000 with the real potential to grow to $50,000 to $100,000 per year once they complete all three phases of the training. Thanks to JCI for creating this pathway to good-paying clean energy jobs with a future for our students!