As an apprentice in AACC’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program, Teddy Strong says he gets a feeling of accomplishment every time he’s able to help fix someone’s HVAC system.
“If we weren't able to make it work, basically I take that home with me,” he said. “That's what keeps me going, because you treat people how you want to be treated. If you know you're going home to heat and you have to leave someone without heat, that doesn’t sit well with me.”
As an apprentice, Strong gets classroom instruction and hands-on training. Throughout the week he follows different mechanics to learn various components of HVAC.
“I'm learning a lot every day and I get to learn from multiple individuals as well. It's the highlight of my day,” he said.
Strong credits AACC with making him more confident. Before the program he said he “wasn’t a handyman,” but now, “I do everything myself. (The program) just motivated me to know that I'm able to do it.”
His experiences have made him an advocate for the college. Strong said he recommends not just the HVAC program, but any of AACC’s other job training programs to family and friends.
“I'm trying to pass it on. I have friends that I'm telling to get into the field and I'm telling them to go through AACC,” he said. “I'm … like, ‘Hey, look at all these different courses that they have, these different trades and everything.’ You've got electrical, you've got heat and plumbing, you have drywall, sheetrock, and so on and so on. I want to throw it out there to my friends and everyone that I come across and just let them know, this is actually a good program and it's not as hard to reach as you think.”