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May 5, 2016
SAINT PAUL, MN — Explore the Trades, a program of the Nexstar Legacy Foundation (the foundation), announced a partnership with Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC) that will provide free-tuition and bring more residential heating and cooling (HVAC) service technicians into the industry.

Explore the Trades addresses the severe shortage of plumbing, electrical and HVAC residential service technicians through scholarships, awareness campaigns and outreach programs such as this new one with MCTC.

“The shortage of skilled technicians for these industries is a huge concern,” stated Renée Cardarelle, Executive Director of the foundation. “It is imperative that we bring in new qualified technicians quickly, and this program will help us do that.”

The program will invite young people, veterans and others to attend an orientation session where they will learn about careers in residential service. At the orientation, attendees will be given an aptitude test and be interviewed by image of mctc logobusinesses interested in hiring new HVAC technicians. Individuals who are interested in continuing with the program and who were accepted by a company for an internship, will continue on to a two-week training program followed by a two-week internship with the company. The end goal will be for the individuals to find full-time employment with the company and continue their HVAC education with MCTC over the next three semesters.

Similar HVAC programs at MCTC have had great success in the past. The program is placing graduates in related employment at a rate of 100%. Initial hourly wages have been $17.48 and after two year, graduates are making an average of $26.08. MCTC is working toward reducing the education and employment gap that exists in Minneapolis by combining free tuition with career pathway programs that are aligned with employers facing workforce shortages. This program is one of several new opportunities that will provide low-income residents in Minneapolis a pathway to prosperity.

This program is free to participants, with Explore the Trades providing scholarship funding. During the internship portion of the program participants will receive a stipend.

To learn more about the training program click here:

The Nexstar Legacy Foundation is dedicated to attracting talented individuals to the heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical industries, by inspiring these people to discover the prestige, earning power and stability of careers in these fields. The foundation accomplishes this by being the leading resource for information on careers and training, as well as a source of financial aid.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is a public two-year college located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. MCTC enrolls nearly 13,000 credit students annually and is an active partner in initiatives designed to strengthen the social, economic and cultural vitality of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. MCTC provides access to the transformative power of education in a diverse and dynamic downtown environment.

Students wishing to find out more about scholarship programs can contact MCTC at 612/659-6313 or

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