Durham HVAC company using scholarships as a way to train, recruit new employees

Job Alert

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Bobby Ferrel has owned Green Horizon One Hour Heating and Air in Durham for the past 13 years. In that time, he says a nagging issue has persisted – a shortage of skilled workers.

“There was a huge trade gap for 20 to 30 years where people weren’t going into the trade,” said Ferrel. “Now it is impossible to find good help.”

Ferrel has taken a step to battle the problem by establishing a scholarship fund for students in the HVAC program at Durham Tech. The goal is to get them the basic know-how in the classroom, then transition them to an apprenticeship program.

Frank Rivera, a manager at Green Horizon, oversees the program. Having grown up in the industry, he wants to inspire others the way he was inspired.

“This is what we’re hoping – be the mentor for others. Whether you’re in school or 50, 60 years old and looking for a new career,” said Rivera.

When asked how many skilled techs he could hire on a single day, Ferrel quickly responded by saying, “five, which would be adding 25-percent to our workforce.”

He also emphasized the pay – $15 an hour to start as a helper – with experienced techs earning $100,000 or more. Furthermore, a college degree isn’t needed.

“We put high school degree as a requirement, but honestly, we’d entertain people who haven’t graduated from high school.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories