HCC, Johnson Controls celebrate one-year partnership

Jun 4, 2024

The $100,000 grant Johnson Controls from has provided $1,000 individual scholarships to 45 students in the program.

Patrick Mayorquin knew he wanted to do something different than being a vehicle mechanic. His father and uncles were mechanics, and it was expected he would join the family work lineage upon graduating high school.

Instead, he took a different route, choosing to study at Houston Community College (HCC). "I wanted something to keep my hands and brain working, so I chose to become an air conditioning technician,” said the 21-year-old, first-generation college student from Honduras. “I just completed my Air Conditioning I certificate, and I’m eight classes away from finishing my associate degree.”

Mayorquin joined several of his classmates for a celebratory lunch highlighting the one-year anniversary of a grant provided by Johnson Controls to educate future workers in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security fields. The $100,000 grant has provided $1,000 individual scholarships to 45 students in the program.

“We sincerely appreciate Johnson Controls and the support they provide our students,” said Dr. Muddasir Siddiqi, vice chancellor, Instructional Innovation and Digital Strategy. “Some of our students come to HCC with many financial challenges, so your support is very helpful in them completing their program and joining the vibrant Houston workforce.”

Since 2021, the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program has annually distributed $1 million across 10 North American community colleges for vocational programs to inspire the next generation of workers.

Dr. Butch Herod, interim president, HCC Central, praised both the faculty and Johnson Controls for their diligence to help the students.

“We are extremely grateful,” Herod said. “You've been patient, kind and understanding to help the students achieve another level. This is about their futures, so we’re fortunate for your support.”

The Basic HVAC certificate requires seven classes for completion and according to Kris Asper, dean at the Center of Excellence in Architectural Design and Construction at HCC’s Central campus.

“The scholarships cover almost half of a student’s certificate, so it's really tremendous help reducing the burden on the student.”

Johnson Controls representative Tom Brdar, branch HVAC service manager, mentioned his organization is in it for the long haul to develop future HCC students.

“We are investing every year in students in these programs,” Brdar said. “Our hope is that these students come and knock on our door when it's time to go to work. This relationship with HCC has just been very fruitful. It's also fun to step out of the normal day-to-day routine and to shake hands and talk about the opportunities for motivated students.”

For Mayorquin, who also serves as HCC student branch president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, he’s looking forward to opportunities that may come his way after graduating.

“I want to one day have my own air conditioning business,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the training, but I want to learn more and better myself.”

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