ALFRED — Alfred State College (ASC) announced Thursday that it has recently received a $100,000 grant from The John R. Oishei Foundation. The grant will help grow the college’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) program and increase its capacity for meeting high industry demand of quality, job-ready graduates.


Specifically, the grant aims to double the student enrollment of ASC’s two-year HVAC major, upgrade and renovate the college’s existing HVAC facility on the Wellsville campus, and to equip state-of-the-art freshmen laboratories and classrooms that can serve 40 students each year.


“We are grateful to the Oishei Foundation for providing this grant,” Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said. “Employers are eagerly seeking the type of job-ready HVAC graduates that our college provides, and this grant will allow us to accommodate more students, enhance the learning environment, and fill even more jobs in this high-demand field.”


This expansion and enhancement of the HVAC program will benefit industry in two ways. First, it will provide twice as many graduates each year to meet workforce needs. Second, it will provide graduates with more experience in clean energy, renewable energy, and manufacturing applications.


“Alfred State has been very careful and deliberate in developing programs that directly connect to the needs of local employers,” said Blythe Merrill, senior vice president of programs at The John R. Oishei Foundation, “They play a critical role in workforce development, through offerings such as the HVAC program, as well as through their partnership with the Northland Training Center in Buffalo. We are very pleased to partner with Alfred State on this effort that will have a positive impact on students and the campus.”


The John R. Oishei Foundation enhances the economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grantmaking, leadership, and network building. The Foundation was established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corporation.


“Alfred State is committed to meeting the demand in construction and manufacturing for graduates in the skilled trades,” said Alfred State Provost Dr. Kristin Poppo. “The grant from the Oishei Foundation will support the expansion of our Heating Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) facility to serve twice as many students. Oishei’s investment will truly benefit the western New York region.”


Alfred State’s HVAC program provides both the necessary theory connected with plumbing and HVAC, as well as on-the-job training experience overseen by expert tradesmen. To further prepare them, students take the National Refrigerant Handling Certification Course and Test and the National ARI HVAC (Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) Competency Test. These students are workforce-ready when they graduate.


“The opportunity to strengthen and expand our HVAC program will not only serve as a way to strengthen our graduates, but this expansion will service a call from the industry for trained graduates who can support the growth that it is experiencing, said Jeffrey Stevens, dean of Alfred State’s School of Applied Technology. ”The support from Oishei will allow for the graduates to maintain a leading edge on the knowledge and skills to succeed in their career choices and will certainly support their continual success.”