The heat is on: CNCC hosts training for Western Slope HVAC professionals | CraigDailyPress.com

The heat is on: CNCC hosts training for Western Slope HVAC professionals

Colorado Northwestern Community College/For Craig Press
Jeff Peck from Masterworks Mechanical and Steve Currie from Johnstone Supply Grand Junction take return air static pressure readings on the Beast, a trainer set up by Johnstone Supply for the purpose of live training.
Dave DeRose/Courtesy Photo

For three days in October a classroom at Colorado Northwestern Community College was transformed into a state of the art commercial air balancing training and testing lab as 25 Western Slope heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professionals advanced their skills.

“This is the sixth time we’ve partnered with the college to bring the National Comfort Institute to Craig to train our folks,” said Dave DeRose, former owner of Masterworks Mechanical.

DeRose has worked with college staff over the past 12 years to secure roughly $100,000 in grant dollars from the Colorado First and Existing Industry job training grant program.

By reimbursing costs associated with job training, CFEI provides funding to increase transferable job skills that both support the company’s competitiveness and enhance workers’ resumes and long-term employment opportunities.

Rob Falke, president of National Comfort Institute instructs Kyle Major from Airstream Plumbing and Heating in Grand Junction as he takes static pressure measurements on the supply duct of the Beast.
Dave DeRose/Courtesy Photo

The grant program is jointly administered between the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado Community College System and is administered through participating colleges.

CNCC Director of Community Education Sasha Nelson is the CFEI representative for the area.

“Workforce training is essential to the development of our businesses and individual growth, but it can also be costly. I’d like to encourage companies in Northwest Colorado to contact me to explore CFEI as an option to help pay for their training needs,” Nelson said. “Requests are capped at $150,000 per application and $200,000 per company per fiscal year.”

Maddie Amans of Monarch HVAC from Grand Junction takes a static pressure reading on the supply duct side of the Beast, a live trainer set up by Johnstone Supply Grand Junction. Maddie works as a test in technician for Monarch HVAC in Grand Junction to insure all systems they install meet the standards set by NCI training.
Dave DeRose/Courtesy Photo

Not only have Masterworks’ employees benefited from the training, owner Victor Updike said that past trainings have helped saved lives.

“The CO testing was the first training we took with NCI. In the training Jim Davis stated that we would save somebody’s life and three days after I was certain I did,” Updike said.

Training allowed Updike to identify and correct high levels of carbon monoxide being produced by an area hotel.

Last week’s training in commercial air balance equip HVAC professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to balance commercial HVAC systems up to 20 tons, including kitchen exhaust and make-up air systems ensuring they run more efficiently saving money and energy.

NCI’s president and master instructor, Rob Falke, made the trip to run the training himself.

“I really enjoy coming to Craig. The college is a terrific location and combined with the people who pull this together and train with, it creates a terrific experience,” he said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership into the future.”