CLARKSTON, Ga. – To recognize generosity toward Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s air conditioning technology (a.k.a. HVAC) program, the school on Monday officially named a learning space in honor of Atlanta Gas Light. Through its Foundation, the utility company donated $50,000 for GPTC to use in purchasing state-of-the-art equipment for students to gain hands-on training in the HVAC program.

Group at naming plaque
July 8, 2024 – GPTC faculty, staff and students are joined by officials with Atlanta Gas Light to commemorate the renaming of the school’s HVAC learning space.


Naming ceremony attendees
Attendees fill Georgia Piedmont’s HVAC program area as they listen to comments during the naming ceremony.

During the ceremony, Georgia Piedmont Technical College air conditioning technology students Rodriguez Williams and Aaron Ford summed up the importance of learning with current tools of the trade in a real-world environment.

“Literally the day after I enrolled at Georgia Piedmont, we were learning on this equipment,” Ford said as he gestured to the stacks of compressors, thermostats and duct work that surrounded the crowd of about 25 people. “I love coming here every day and learning new things.”

“I knew where I was ‘before’ and knew where I could be ‘after,’ but I needed the skills to get from point A to point B,” Ford said. “And now I have them.”

Williams echoed the sentiment, adding that he knew he wanted a different path but needed a shorter term, hands-on option. “Georgia Piedmont was the right choice,” Williams said.

HVAC student Aaron Ford
GPTC Air Conditioning Technology (HVAC) student Aaron Ford addresses the crowd.
HVAC Student Rodriguez Williams

Investments by industry and community partners are vital to schools like Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

“We have the same goal and vision,” said GPTC President Dr. Tavarez Holston. “When reputable companies like Atlanta Gas Light contribute to our college, they know it’s more than a gift. They are investing in their current and future employees, knowing our graduates will be ready to work on day one.”

Dr. Holston and attendees
GPTC President Tavarez Holston talks about the role of community and industry partners in the college’s mission of providing a well-trained workforce.

The job market for HVAC technicians is booming and the careers are lucrative; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in May 2023, the mean salary for those positions in Georgia is around $53,500 annually.