William H. Bonner, Jr. was born into the HVAC business. His parents owned an air-conditioning company for many years, so he was able to learn from hands-on experience and understands the importance of having real-world training. He has been in the refrigeration business for more than 46 years and, together with his wife, Kristi, owns and operates Texas Refrigeration.
The Bonners, like many other employers today, are looking to hire “new-collar job” seekers. The term “new-collar job” originated from IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, and refers to positions that require some specialized education, typically in a technical field, but not a four-year college degree. This is the community college’s wheelhouse.
As more and more people relocate into the DFW area, the need for skilled workers continues to increase; the growth of the Tarrant County community depends upon on trained and job-ready individuals prepared to enter the workforce. In previous decades, high school graduates could enter the workforce and make sustainable wages without additional education or training. However, today’s “new-collar job” market requires job seekers to have specialized training before applying for a job.
In an effort to assist students with financial needs in “new-collar job” programs at TCC, the Chancellor’s Award initiative was created. Funding for the Chancellor’s Award is made possible from the support of individual and community gifts, as well as contributions from TCC Partners (distinguished businesses/individuals that provide services and expertise to Tarrant County College), like Texas Refrigeration. “The Chancellor’s Award is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to be able to learn a trade and gain employment in Tarrant County and the surrounding area. So, when we were asked by the TCC Foundation to invest in the Chancellor’s Award initiative, we jumped at the opportunity to do so,” Kristi Bonner said.
The Bonners, inspired by TCC’s commitment to the community, decided that in addition to their contribution to the Chancellor’s Award, they wanted to start their own scholarship through the TCC Foundation. The scholarship will help students in the HVAC program complete their education. This fall, the first recipient of the Texas Refrigeration HVAC Technology Scholarship will be awarded. “An employee of our company took courses at TCC in HVAC and basic electric; he has such a solid foundation and knowledge of the field that we have entrusted him with his own service truck, and he is on his way to being a lead technician for Texas Refrigeration,” William said. The Bonners hope to attract and offer a student in the HVAC program an opportunity to work part time with their company in order to gain real-world knowledge, in addition to the hands-on training provided at TCC.
For more information about scholarships available through the TCC Foundation, or to become a TCC Partner, please visit the TCC Foundation.