PCCUA announces first HVAC graduate to pass newly required licensure exam
Posted Date: 12/14/23
PCCUA announces its first graduate of the HVAC program in Helena to go a step further and pass the licensure exam.
In the past, PCCUA has not made the licensure exam a requirement for completers, but recently added it as a credential, because the license makes graduates more employable.
A graduate of Central High School, Marreon Kones, of West Helena, was successful in passing his licensure exam this semester on the first try and is now a licensed HVAC technician, which means he is licensed to work on anything related to HVAC in Arkansas.
PCCUA instructor Mike Shaw said there are a total of four sections to the licensure exam: (1) core, (2) small refrigeration appliance repair, (3) small home central heat/air unit repair, and (4) industrial heat/air repair. Passing the core and at least one other section is required to gain licensure, and students are allowed four attempts at passing the test.
“Marreon passed all four parts the first time, and we are very proud of his progress and his success,” said Shaw.
Kones, who is also pursuing a music career, said he wanted to gain skills that he could fall back on and initially came to PCCUA to study welding. He noted that his instructors at PCCUA were very knowledgeable and helpful in teaching him what he needed to know and preparing him for the exam.
“They were extremely helpful in getting me enrolled in areas I was interested in and what I needed to learn,” said Kones, adding that he is returning to PCCUA for the 2024 spring semester to further his skills in welding. With his welding skills, Kones is working on his own project car to build a Nissan 300ZX.
Joe St. Columbia, Jr., PCCUA workforce training & development coordinator, said licensure is very important when hiring an HVAC technician, because experienced, licensed HVAC technicians follow building codes that have been put in place to protect people from potentially harmful issues. He noted that unlicensed technicians, who don’t follow codes, can put individuals and their families at risk.
Designed to prepare students to work with HVAC systems, the HVAC program includes industrial electricity, industrial safety and sanitation, basic blueprint reading while studying the basic laws of thermodynamics and thermodynamic cycles. Concepts of heat transfer and applications of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning are integral to the program outcomes.
Program enrollment at PCCUA has more than tripled over the last five years and expanded into Stuttgart. All those interested in becoming a licensed HVAC technician may register now for the 2024 spring semester in Helena and Stuttgart. Classes begin Jan. 8, and limited seating is available. PCCUA offers hands-on training for this high demand, high wage career. HVAC positions are available upon successful program completion. To enroll, call (Helena) 870-338-6474, ext. 1937 or 1114, or (Stuttgart) 870-673-4201, ext. 1846.