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About Trane4min read

Trade Warriors Builds on Success with Fort Cavazos Location

For a military service member reaching the end of their contract, the pressing question is “What do I do next?”

November 6, 2023

At Fort Cavazos in Texas, the answer now includes the opportunity for a career in HVAC, with technician training and career placement support through a new Trane Technologies Trade Warriors location. The launch of the Fort Cavazos site at the end of August follows on the heels of two years of success at the Fort Liberty program in North Carolina, where about 125 service members have graduated and gone on to pursue careers in residential HVAC careers.

TradeWarriors ftCavazos2

“With a projected skilled labor shortage of 122,000 technicians in HVAC alone, this program will bolster the talent pipeline and help dealers from across the country hire qualified workers,” said Jason Bingham, president of Trane Technologies’ Residential HVAC business. “Most importantly, the Trade Warriors program provides rewarding careers to service members who have dutifully served our country and helps them transition into life after the military.”

The added program location has been well received.

“The people at Fort Cavazos were excited about the prospect of us joining their program as a CSP (Career Skills Program) provider that could provide heating and air conditioning training,” says Anthony Maynor of RightTek HVAC Training, one of the lead Trade Warrior instructors. “After getting all the paperwork processed, we found the right facility and got the contractor to do the fit-out work to build the learning lab and classroom. As with any program, there were some fits and starts, but what we’ve created a fantastic learning environment for the service members.”

TradeWarriors ftCavazos lab

The Fort Cavazos facility follows the basic concept of the original Trade Warriors site, pairing a classroom environment for academics with a hands-on learning lab with Trane equipment just a few steps away that includes air conditioners, gas furnaces, and heat pumps.

While the facility was being built, Nubia Simmons of Orion Talent was busy recruiting the service members for the first class at Fort Cavazos. As a 23-year military veteran who retired in June 2022, she understood firsthand the challenges of transitioning into civilian life and finding a post-service career that’s a good fit. “We’re looking for people who have the will to want to do it,” she says. “My screening always starts by asking why they want to become an HVAC technician. If they can’t answer that, it probably isn’t going to work. For the people who can, it’s their opportunity to get out of the military and be successful at something they want to do.”

Trade Warrior classes are limited to 20 to ensure a proper instructor-to-student ratio for maximized learning opportunities and safety. In addition, with 10 working systems each on the heat pump and AC and gas furnace labs, that results in a maximum of two students per unit. “The main thing is that it gives everyone plenty of hands-on time, but it’s also similar to how it works out in the field,” Maynor says. “Especially when they’re learning early on, they’ll usually be paired with someone before going solo once they’re more advanced.”

TradeWarriors ftCavazos

The first Fort Cavazos cohort graduated on October 13, and the next class will graduate on December 8. “We've had great success so far,” Simmons says. “Twelve out of 16 passed their EPA certificate on the first try, which is one of the highest percentages so far in the Trade Warriors program. To me, success is getting the right candidate in the class and making sure they get a job after they graduate.”

“Through Trade Warriors, we're providing a program where soldiers can learn a trade that will support them and their families for the rest of their lives,” says Maynor. “These soldiers have a strong work ethic and a desire to learn and excel. Class starts at 8 a.m., and everybody's in their seats ready to go no later than 7:45. Dealers who do a good job mentoring and training them, and who provide a healthy company culture that a soldier can transition into, will be creating long-term loyal employees.”

About Trade Warriors

Trade Warriors is an 8-week program that provides more than 300 hours of hands-on HVAC training for active-duty service members who are within 6 months of separation from the services, or current veterans, with the goal of employment as an HVAC service tech or service installer at a Trane or American Standard dealer. The program aims to facilitate new career options for military veterans while bolstering the ranks of qualified HVAC technicians in the industry.

Learn more at:

Trane -  https://trane.trade-warriors.com/

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