Real-World ExperienceDo you remember going out on co-op as a senior? For most, it was that first “real” full-time job where you simultaneously got your feet wet in the industry of your trade while showing off the skills you learned in your vocational shop. Co-op is a tradition and opportunity that is still part of the senior experience today. Our co-op students have an opportunity to work Monday – Friday for a minimum of 30 hours, obtain course credits, meet licensing requirements, and earn a salary during their shop weeks. While meeting specific criteria to participate, candidate selection involves matching a student’s abilities and talent with an employer’s particular needs.
This marriage of talent and need is something both our co-op students and industry professionals take very seriously when advancing businesses and careers. Take a moment to explore a few of the stories and real-world experiences of our co-op students.
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
– Posted Spring 2021
Training the Next Generation
Tim Matatall (HVAC&R, 2009) first became interested in heating and air conditioning as a student in our HVAC&R program. He graduated in 2009 and went on to spend nearly a decade working for a mechanical contracting company. During that time, he gained experience with jobs of all sizes and solidified his commitment to providing exceptional customer service. A value upon which he founded Precision Heating & Cooling, a local business that offers cost-effective, high-efficiency HVAC solutions.
Tim has reconnected with his alma mater and has chosen to give back by sharing his knowledge, expertise, and time training the next generation of skilled HVAC installers and technicians. As his company has grown, they’ve employed our alumni and recently a student through our cooperative education program (co-op), which is an enhancement to an already rich vocational-technical educational experience. Students who participate delve deeper into their career options by applying for and accepting full-time employment in their field while gaining an invaluable perspective, experience, and technical knowledge.
By choosing to give back, you become a vital link to providing a meaningful vocational-technical education for future generations to come. In Aspirations Meet Opportunity, you will see how an opportunity within our cooperative education program has inspired our HVAC student and has led to a full-time career connection.
Aspirations Meet Opportunity
With unique challenges across trade pathways due to COVID-19, Jack Alexander of Bellingham, a senior in our HVAC&R program, wanted to participate in co-op, to complete his certified trade hours and gain more experience.
Jack had seen other students set themselves up for successful careers through co-op, and he hoped to do the same. So when his instructor told him that Precision Heating & Cooling in Grafton was looking for a skilled co-op student to join their team and that he met all of the criteria to be eligible, he knew that he had to apply.
“I interviewed, got the job, and worked 40-hours a week all summer, and then transitioned into my co-op work schedule when school began,” said Jack. “It was important to secure this position because it meant more time for learning in the field.”
Jack fits right in at Precision Heating & Cooling. He is thankful to have this opportunity to gain experience and confidence in his abilities.
Jack continues to work hard and attend all of his classes. He plans to work in his trade after graduation. He said, “While I am confidently doing routine cleanings now, I am working towards being an independent service technician sent to do AC and heating tune-ups and repairs for Precision Heating & Cooling. I am excited about the future.”