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UH Maui College students gain hands-on skills installing a split-system A/C unit in their HVAC lab class on campus.

University of Hawaiʻi Maui College will invest a $100,000 grant from Johnson Controls (JCI) in training and educational opportunities to support future workforce leaders across the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), fire and security industries. As an estimated 10,000 trade professionals are projected to leave the workforce each year over the next decade due to heightened retirements or career changes, UH Maui College continues to prioritize investments in workforce training and recruitment to bridge the skilled trades gap.

“This generous grant from JCI gives Maui residents the opportunity to make a good living and support their families either here in Hawaiʻi or wherever they may go,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana. “Folks with this training are highly sought after everywhere. We’re thrilled to have been selected for this four-year program.”

Since 2021, the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program has annually distributed $1 million across 10 community colleges in North America with a focus on vocational programs to inspire the next generation of workers.

“Because of the grant more of our community members will be able to receive opportunities to learn important trades that can lead to valuable careers, contribute to our community, and benefit our islands’ future generations,” said Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen. “Each student who benefits from the financial support of the grant will have a chance to become a part of a critical workforce that helps our island’s large and small businesses succeed. We appreciate the contribution by Johnson Controls and value the role that the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College will have in this exceptional opportunity.”

Grant recipients have the opportunity to receive a renewed grant for up to three years, creating long-term opportunities for program development. Each college has the option to receive the grants in full monetary value or to receive partial monetary funds along with technical equipment donated by Johnson Controls. UH Maui College will get $70,000 in cash and $30,000 in equipment.

UH Maui College plans to use the funding to provide student internship stipends, support subject matter expertise from our industry professionals to ensure relevant training, and extra funding to support students with tutors and basic needs,” said Laura Lees Nagle, dean of career and technical education and accreditation liaison officer.

Johnson Controls employees will also work with UH Maui College to mentor and encourage students to join the skilled trades workforce. Students will be able to ask questions and get a glimpse into career trajectories following training completion.

“Not only are we investing in the next generation of workforce leaders, but the mentoring associated with this initiative reminds our employees why we do what we do,rdquo; said Julie Brandt, president of Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls. “We’re looking at our future and through partnership with these colleges we’re all contributing to a better supported trades industry.”

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