Four current residents at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility have acquired a skill which should help them find a job once they’ve served their sentence.
Earlier this month, those inmates received their Pre-HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) apprenticeship certificates through Flagler Technical College (FTC), a partnership program launched earlier this year by Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly under the Homeward Bound Initiative (HBI).
This six-month FTC course gives inmate-students the knowledge and necessary skills to fill entry-level positions in the HVAC field, including how to install, service and repair many kinds of commercial and residential heating, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. The graduates learned practical specialized skills from industry professionals in a personalized and hands-on learning environment.
In addition, each graduate has taken and passed the Section 608 test required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for those who want to work in the HVAC field.
“The Homeward Bound Initiative has been a great partnership with Flagler Technical College to help inmates achieve real world skills that can help them be successful in our community and not return to the Green Roof Inn”, said Sheriff Staly. “It’s my preference to provide opportunities for inmates to be better citizens rather than going through a revolving door at the jail and help our local businesses find skilled labor that’s ready to go. I’m very proud of our Detention team and our partnership with FTC that makes these programs possible. Congratulations to the inmates and we wish them well on the job hunt when they’re released.”
FTC is the adult division of the Flagler County School District and accredited through the Council on Occupational Education. It focuses on career and technical education programs for high-demand trades in Flagler and surrounding counties.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the HVAC field is expected to see a 13% job growth nationwide through 2028. The median salary for specialists in the field is currently just over $50,000 annually.
The next pre-HVAC course is scheduled to begin later this fall. Four inmates have already enrolled.