Johnson Controls, through its Community College Partnership Program, is making an impact on Kennedy-King College’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) students – with nearly $300,000 in funding. So far, Kennedy-King College has received $273,000 via a three-year renewable grant that engages students from historically underrepresented groups and supports them in preparing for and embarking on career paths in sustainable building practices.

“We are grateful that Johnson Controls recognizes City Colleges efforts to prepare our students for the workforce. This funding is directly supporting our students – and with them, the future of green building,” said Veronica Herrero, president of the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation.

Thanks to the Community College Partnership Program, Kennedy-King College has established an HVAC certification boot camp, as well as a job shadowing and field experience course – all to equip students with the skills they need to succeed.

“Our students are ready for an HVAC career when they finish this program, and because of Johnson Controls, they know exactly what that career can look like,” said Shondria Holmes, dean of instruction at Kennedy-King College. “That makes a huge impact on a student who might not know anyone in the field who can talk to them about the day-to-day work.”

So far, 60 students have benefited from the program, including Ryan Morgia, Kennedy-King College’s 2023 Valedictorian. After earning HVAC certificates in May of 2022, Ryan decided to take the stationary engineers license exam offered by the National Association of Stationary Operating Engineers®. He passed and was able to obtain an HVAC maintenance/stationary engineer position that August. Just seven months later, Ryan was promoted to chief engineer.

To learn more about the HVAC program at Kennedy-King College, visit Learn more about the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program here. Check out ways to donate to the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation at