HVAC student receives scholarship from national foundation

Jan. 22, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. A national foundation has awarded a scholarship to a Grand Rapids Community College student in the HVAC program.

Henry Kuhfeldt was one of 49 students receiving a share of $85,500 in scholarships from the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Jr. Scholarship Foundation.

Kuhfeldt enrolled in GRCC’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioner/Refrigeration Technologies program after he had to leave the IT field because of a disability. He found his studies interesting and challenging.

“The instructors have real world experience,” he said. “The emphasis is on melding theory and practical learning.”

Professor Don Steeby said HVAC is one of GRCC’s fastest-growing programs.

“The demand for new HVAC technicians continues to remain strong both locally and nationwide due to a growing economy and a shrinking labor market,” he said. “I’m receiving emails and phone calls almost on a weekly basis from mechanical contractors, local wholesalers and manufacturers who are looking for new HVAC techs. We even received a job opportunity for our students from a wholesaler in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands!”

Steeby said full-time students can complete a HVACR Certificate in just two semesters and start their careers as entry-level technicians. All of GRCC’s HVAC classes are also offered in evening sessions for students who work during the day.

Kuhfeld said he might continue his studies at Ferris State University after earning his associate degree.

Since its founding in 2003, the Rees Scholarship Foundation -- the charitable arm of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America -- has awarded more than $930,000 in scholarships to more than 500 students and instructors.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.


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