press release - EST

Public Relations | Press Releases


Release date 09-17-14


New Energy Services and Technology Program in Trades and Technology Department at Kennebec Valley Community College achieves 90 % job placement for graduates.


 FAIRFIELD - This fall, Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) administrators and faculty began their third year of accepting students into the Energy Services and Technology program, following a 90 percent job placement rate for the first students to complete the two-year program.

With the support of a $735,944 grant from the National Science Foundation, KVCC created the Energy Services and Technology (EST) program which offers multiple career paths into the building trades. In addition to awarding students associate in applied science degrees, the EST program prepares students to take four state licensing tests and four separate national industry certification exams.

KVCC bills EST as the only program of its kind in Maine and one of the only programs nationwide that simultaneously teach plumbing; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; solid fuel; geothermal; and solar heating.

Students may take the national certification exams in refrigeration, green plumbing, geothermal heat pump installation, and solar heating at the college. The state administers the licensing tests for plumbing, oil burner, solid fuel, and propane/natural gas technicians at other sites.

The 12 students in the program's first cohort completed the two years of course work to receive their associate in applied science degrees and graduated this past May with the opportunity to take all take all eight exams. Twenty new students just began their first semester in the EST program this month.

"What I like best about our program is that it gives our students the advantage of multiple career path opportunities," says EST instructor Brad Harding, “ they come out with the ability to work in several areas of the trades allowing them to stay employed in good times and bad times, and still command a decent living wage.”

Harding expects the students hired by area plumbing and HVAC or mechanical services companies, or as technicians that operate industrial facilities will be employed by them for many years and that many will eventually start their own businesses.

Zach Parker (right) is seen here with instructor Brad Harding accepting his Greenplumbers certificate (the first in Maine) and has taken full advantage of what the Energy Services and Technology program has to offer by acquiring his Journeyman Oil Burner license, Journeyman-in-Training plumbing license, natural gas and propane license, EPA refrigerant certification, NABCEP Solar Heating Entry Level Certificate, and IGSHPA geothermal helpers certificate upon completion of the two-year associate degree.   Mr. Parker isn’t stopping there though; he can’t seem to get enough trade licensing for KVCC, so he has returned for another year to get his Journeyman electrical license. And he is even taking an additional Professional Development class in the evenings to acquire his large equipment license to service gas heating equipment.




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