BROOKLYN, NY — On July 17, 1902, Dr. Willis H. Carrier designed the first air conditioning system that provided temperature, humidity, ventilation, and air quality control for a Brooklyn printing plant. Now, 100 years later to the day, Carrier Corp. returned to dedicate the Willis H. Carrier Academy at Grady Technical High School.

Several Grady students and representatives from the New York Department of Education were present for the dedication ceremony. Geraud Darnis, Carrier president, spoke about the importance of HVACR education and its impact on the industry.

“As a company, we have embraced Dr. Carrier’s lifelong appreciation and commitment to education,” said Darnis. “Creating the Willis H. Carrier Academy is the ideal way to honor his belief that education and understanding are the keys to solving challenges of all kinds, as well as help the academy’s students become valued contributors to a growing industry that has a crucial need for technical talent.”

Carrier president Geraud Darnis (left) and New York City Schools chancellor Harold O. Levy admire an ice sculpture of Willis Carrier at the dedication ceremony.


William E. Grady High School is a four-year career and technical education school with approximately 1,500 students and 200 staff members. It is the only school in Brooklyn with a secondary HVACR program.

According to John Mandyck, acting vice president of communications for Carrier, the company was looking for a technical school that it could help in developing an HVACR program. In turn, this would help develop a pool of qualified and competent technicians for the New York area.

Carrier Corp. met with the New York Department of Education in May and explained its desire to help advance the education of young people in HVACR. The department pointed out Grady High School and its heating and air conditioning program.

“They [the department] had a desire to give the program a facelift,” said Mandyck. The Grady program was beginning to see a drop in its enrollment. At the same time, according to Mandyck, the HVACR industry in the New York area is continuing to grow and is in need of competent installers and technicians.

Carrier Corp. believes that with its support, more young people may take an interest in the HVACR program and seek an education that will lead them to opportunities in the industry.


The company has promised a great deal of support to this new HVACR program. First, over the next two years, Carrier will pledge $100,000. Mandyck says all of the money has not been allocated, but some will go towards revamping learning spaces, updating the lab, and purchasing new equipment.

Carrier will also have more than a financial presence. The manufacturer intends to have an active role throughout the life of the program. A company representative will sit on the new programs advisory board and provide ongoing curriculum review and development. Also, the company intends to make its training tools and educational programs available to faculty and students involved with the Carrier Academy.

Finally, Carrier will host student groups at its facilities to give them a first-hand look at the industry.

“The Willis H. Carrier Academy combines all the necessary ingredients for an outstanding learning community: focused, career-related theme; an instructional curriculum leading to industry certification; a strong, involved corporate partner; and the financial resources to upgrade physical facilities,” said Ivor Neuschotz, principal of Grady Technical High School.

According to Carrier, a Board of Education steering committee comprised of members from high schools, colleges, universities, and the industry is focusing on numerous components of career and technical education. The goal of the committee is to develop a high-quality curriculum that is consistent with employer certification. Also, the committee is aiming to establish education that can work as a bridge to post-secondary education.

The academy will offer students a three-year program in HVACR and, according to Carrier, will serve as a model initiative for New York City’s 19 other career and technical high schools.

New York City Schools chancellor Harold O. Levy said, “We owe it to our children to give them the best start on a career that they can possibly have. This gift will help us give the children the education they need and deserve, preparing them to go on to college, should they wish to, while providing industry with a ready, willing, and able workforce.”

For more information, visit (website).

Publication date: 07/29/2002