FAIRFIELD — Kennebec Valley Community College administrators and faculty began their third year of accepting students into the Energy Services and Technology program, following a 90 percent job placement rate for the first students to complete the two-year program, according to a KVCC press release.

With the support of a $735,944 grant from the National Science Foundation, KVCC created the Energy Services and Technology program which offers multiple career paths into the building trades. In addition to awarding students associate in applied science degrees, the program prepares students to take four state licensing tests and four separate national industry certification exams.

The program simultaneously teach plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, solid fuel, geothermal and solar heating.

Students can take the national certification exams in refrigeration, green plumbing, geothermal heat pump installation, and solar heating at the college. The state administers the licensing tests for plumbing, oil burner, solid fuel and propane/natural gas technicians at other sites.

The 12 students in the program’s first cohort completed the two years of course work to receive their associate in applied science degrees and graduated this past May with the opportunity to take all take all eight exams. Twenty new students just began their first semester in the EST program this month.

“What I like best about our program is that it gives our students the advantage of multiple career path opportunities,” EST instructor Brad Harding said in the release, ” they come out with the ability to work in several areas of the trades allowing them to stay employed in good times and bad times, and still command a decent living wage.”

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