One of our core missions at Mt. Ellis Academy is to help our students develop their God-given gifts. For some of our students, this means preparing them for the academic rigors of college. For others, it means preparing them for the workforce.
With the significant labor shortage around the country across all trades and the rising cost of college education, there is an increasing need to equip our young people with usable skills to enter the workforce. For this reason, we have taken the first step in developing our trade programs to fulfill our mission to develop all our students' God-given gifts so that they may be more prepared to launch into adulthood and serve in His Kingdom.
MEA has launched its first cohort of heating, ventilating and air conditioning training. Today, there are less than 100 Certified Master HVAC Educators around the country, and MEA has partnered with Montana Trade School to offer dual-learning opportunities for our students.
Program participants will work toward their high school graduation and Environmental Protection Agency certification. Students will learn advancements in technology to enhance HVAC training, skills and marketability to employers. Upon completing this two-year program, students will receive EPA certification, enabling them to enter the workforce as level 1 technicians with a starting wage of $25 to $30 per hour.
The junior and senior level course is taught by Framo Rimoni, an RSI HVAC/R graduate with over 31 years of experience in residential, commercial and industrial HVAC service. He is assisted by Randy Wright, a licensed general contractor with over 35 years of experience in the industry. The six students in this first cohort (four boys and two girls) meet four afternoons per week on campus as they gain practical knowledge for their certification.
As we look to the future, we recognize the need to continue offering various training opportunities so that our students can be prepared to enter college or, if they choose, to further their training in a trade. Some future ideas we are looking to develop include auto mechanics, welding, electrical, coding, construction sciences and plumbing.
To learn more about how you can be involved in supporting MEA's trade programs, call 406-587-5178.