SmartUp Business Highlight: Freedom Heating and Air Conditioning

Friday January 22, 2021

Freedom Heating

Freedom Heating and Air Conditioning is a minority, veteran, 2nd generation owned HVAC company in rural Hampton, SC. FreedomAir specializes in traditional heating and air conditioning repair, installation, replacement, and service but uses state of the art technology and techniques to provide energy efficient solutions to residential customers.

Workforce Development Preferred Training Provider List

During the project scoping phase, FreedomAir mentioned that they had were having difficulty in completing paperwork to be added to the Workforce Development’s Preferred Training Provider List (PTPL). Being on the list is one of the steps required to be considered for funding to help cover the cost of training. For 2 years, FreedomAir had been providing the HVAC training to students in the area FREE OF CHARGE as they found the process to get on the PTPL unclear, exhaustive, and difficult to navigate. Kellye worked closely with FreedomAir to get a better understanding of the “process,” helped them identify key staff involved in making decisions, and was able to finally identify the issues that barred them from being added to the Preferred Training Provider List. Near the completion of the project, the Team, met with US Senator Tim Scott’s office and the local Council of Governments (COG) to discuss ways to better communicate on how the program works, the types of funding that is available, as well as ways to help streamline the approval process.

Learn to Earn Online Learning Platform

FreedomAir’s initial Learn to Earn HVAC Technician Certification Training course needed a little bit of a face-lift and Instructors were looking for ways to become more effective in teaching the course. While scoping the project, we suggested that they consider converting their course to more of a hybrid experience with both a face to face interaction for labs and online learning for classwork and assessments.

Freedom Heating

Analyst Oluwandara Abimbade, a Learning Science PhD student at Clemson, was able to assist with converting their entire certification course to an online learning environment, adding performance tracking, videos, and interactive assessments that will improve learner engagement and retention, and overall course delivery. Local Workforce Development leadership staff were able to attend the closing presentation which included a demo of the final project and the feedback was extremely positive. It was stated that no other workforce development training program in the Region and perhaps the State offered anything similar. Within days of the presentation, several students were fully funded by the local Workforce Development office to attend the next Learn to Earn course scheduled for the spring.