HIBBING, Minn. - Hibbing Community College (HCC) has a new 8,000-square-foot lab dedicated to hands-on training. The lab was designed with 30 fixed lab stations and 45 universal lab stations equipped with hot and cold water as well as 120 volt and 230 volt power supplies.

Students receive instruction on oil and gas forced air and hydronic heating systems, air conditioning systems, air-to-air heat pumps, and light commercial refrigeration equipment, including sheet metal fabrication and installation, major appliance repair, and fireplace service and installation.

According to the college, students that attend HCC can expect to receive plenty of hands-on training in the lab and on the job. "Our program is active in the community. Students with the supervision of an instructor schedule and perform seasonal HVAC maintenance checks for participating members within the community," said Keith Erickson, HVACR instructor.

"Currently we are involved in a housing project where the students are responsible for fabricating and installing the HVAC system. Basically, we introduce the student to a wide variety of tasks so when graduation comes, they have the ability to choose what area of the industry they would like to specialize in."

Upon graduation, students have been given the opportunity to achieve the following licenses and certifications: EPA refrigerant certification, Certified Appliance Professional (certificate), ICE Industry Competency (certificate), Gastite® gas line (certificate), Minnesota Boiler Engineers (license), and First Aid and CPR (certificate).

Erickson added, "We are northern Minnesota's largest HVACR program. We are currently providing instruction to approximately 48 students.

"We have assisted with retraining displaced mining and paper mill workers as well as offer a career for traditional students. If you are looking for an employee that comes with a diversified background, feel free to send us a job description. If you are interested in attending or finding out more about this program, we invite you to contact us or stop in for a tour."

Contact Erickson at 218-262-7212 or keitherickson@hcc.mnscu.edu.

Publication date: 02/16/2004