The Chaffey College Industrial Technical Learning Center marked the opening of its heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) training center on June 14 with a ribbon cutting ceremony that drew about 100 dignitaries and community members.

The center -- located at Chino Valley Adult School -- can train about 70 people per year through a free six-month noncredit program.

“We’re going to have more programs like this to meet the community’s needs,” said Chaffey College President/Superintendent Dr. Henry Shannon.

Chino Mayor Eunice Ulloa offered congratulations and told the first group of students that they’ll be busy with the upcoming hot, summer months.

“We need the plumbers and the electricians and the repair people -- otherwise, we’re in big trouble,” Ulloa said. “If our society just has Ph.D.s in philosophy, I don’t know what we’re going to do. So congratulations and it is a true pleasure to have this facility in our community.”

The program prepares students to repair, install, service and maintain the operating condition of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Instruction includes diagnostic techniques, use of testing equipment, and principles of plumbing, mechanics, electricity and electronics.

About 525 HVAC-R positions open every year in the Inland Empire, according to the California Community Colleges’ Centers of Excellence. Salaries range from $31,595 to $53,435.

Employers, including Metz Air Control of Chino, have already teamed up with Chaffey InTech to establish internships due to high demand in the field.

The next information session for the program will be in December, with the next group of students beginning classes in January. To sign up for a session, visit the InTech Center online at https://intechcenter.org/.

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