Dakota County Technical College Receives $100,000 Grant from Johnson Controls to Train Next Generation of Trade Workforce

Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program invests in local technical college programs to support thriving career paths, spur local economic development, and narrow the global skilled labor gap

Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) will invest in the career pathway for the next generation of building technology innovators. Through a $100,000 grant from the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program, DCTC will expand its associate degree and diploma programs in the HVAC & Refrigeration Technology program. In addition to the initial investment, DCTC is eligible for up to three years of renewed funding, allowing the program to expand and serve future students.

“The ultimate goal for DCTC is to expand our current HVAC & Refrigeration program space to accommodate the demand for our program, enhance our current efforts to increase diversity in the program, and incorporate additional academic and professional supports for underrepresented students to foster success,” said Kim Shaff, executive director of the DCTC Foundation.

Introduced in 2021, the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program funds $15 million over the span of five years to nonprofit community colleges throughout North America in support of their HVAC, fire, security, and digital academic programs. Funding for each community college differs based on its needs; in general, colleges will use the funding to recruit, support, retain, and graduate underserved students who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to pursue higher education.

Local Johnson Controls employees in each market serve as volunteer educators and mentors, providing students with counseling and real-world experiences. The mentoring is directly incorporated into various college programs and provides a pathway for student internships and entry-level opportunities at Johnson Controls.

Career prospects

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 8 million skilled-labor jobs were lost from the labor force during the pandemic. About half have been filled, but an estimated 4 million vacancies remain in industries responsible for more transportation, construction, and mechanical needs nationwide.

Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that nearly one-fourth of the manufacturing workforce is 55 or older; as they age and retire, there are not enough young people entering the trades to fill their positions. Filling these vacancies to support a healthy industry will take commitment and expertise across generations.

“At Johnson Controls we strive to provide students with appropriate insights, mentorship and knowledge to empower them to move forward with a successful career in infrastructure. In doing so, we will change the trajectory of lives for these students” said Nate Manning, Vice President and President of Building Solutions in North America. “We will continue steering our efforts and initiatives towards preparing the next generation for a rewarding and sustainable career path that will have a lasting impact on the future of green buildings.

About Johnson Controls

At Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), we transform the environments where people live, work, learn, and play. As the global leader in smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, our mission is to reimagine the performance of buildings to serve people, places, and the planet.

Building on a proud history of more than 135 years of innovation, we deliver the blueprint of the future for industries such as healthcare, schools, data centers, airports, stadiums, manufacturing, and beyond through OpenBlue, our comprehensive digital offering.

Today, with a global team of 100,000 experts in more than 150 countries, Johnson Controls offers the world’s largest portfolio of building technology and software as well as service solutions from some of the most trusted names in the industry.

Visit Johnson Controls for more information and follow @Johnson Controls on social platforms.

About HVAC & Refrigeration Technology at DCTC

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2020 to 2030, resulting in about 38,500 projected job openings each year on average over the decade.

The goal of the DCTC Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) & and Refrigeration A.A.S. degree and diploma programs is to provide you with the entry-level knowledge and skills you’ll need to safely install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair today’s technologically advanced HVAC/R systems.

Through group discussions, lectures, and hands-on laboratory experience with actual HVAC/R equipment, this program helps you build an exciting, challenging, and successful career in a thriving industry. If you have strong basic math skills and a mechanical aptitude, this program could be your ideal college major. As a student in the program, you will be prepared and required to pass the EPA Section 608 refrigerant handling certification exam.

Learn more about the HVAC & Refrigeration Technology program at DCTC by contacting:

Torry Jeranek
HVAC Instructor
651-423-8362

Natalie Shrestha
Academic & Financial Aid Advisor
651-423-8537


Learn more about the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program by contacting:

Lisé Freking
Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications
Dakota County Technical College
Inver Hills Community College
651-423-8233

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