Thanks to the experience gained through a work-based learning program, recent WCC graduate Hunter Knight secured full-time employment at Unlimited Heating and Air located in West Jefferson, North Carolina. Hunter Knight enrolled in the Workforce Development Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) course in August 2020. After completing the HVAC I & II courses, along with NATE Ready to Work, OSHA 10, and EPA Universal certifications, Knight enrolled in WCC’s Work-Based Learning (WBL) program.

The Work-Based Learning (WBL) program is a unique academic program in which students integrate classroom learning with real-world work experience. Students work in a business related to their program of study and gain practical experience with business, industry, and community agency worksites.

Knight credits the authentic learning experience in the HVAC class at Wilkes Community College for his success. Knight said, “The real-world experience the HVAC class provides prepared me to enter the HVAC industry and be successful the first day on the job.” Jonathan Waddell, owner, Unlimited Heating and Air, stated, “I wish I had six more employees like Hunter, because I would hire them today.”

“We are exceptionally proud of Hunter and his accomplishments,” said Chris Robinson, VP of Workforce Development and Community Education. “He is emblematic of what our overall goal is in our division: helping people train or retrain for good-paying jobs. As Hunter has shown, short-term training and real-world learning opportunities often lead directly to employment that is rewarding both personally and on payday.”

l-r: Jonathan Waddell and Hunter Knight