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COA Student Success Story: Sean Byrd, HVAC Technology

When Sean Byrd first looked into College of The Albemarle (COA) in 2014, he was making the decision to enter a new career, specifically one that had a promising future. “COA offered many technical programs, but HVAC was the one I was interested in.” Living on the Outer Banks, Sean was interested in learning a skill that would offer a sustainable income throughout the year. He observed that there always seemed to be work available for HVAC services, even during the off season.

Sean enrolled in the HVAC Technology program at COA – Edenton-Chowan and completed the coursework in 2015. He was able to participate in Work-Based Learning with R.A. Hoy in Kitty Hawk, giving him the opportunity to apply the skills learned in class in an actual workplace setting. Once graduating from the program, R.A. Hoy offered Sean a full-time position as a HVAC technician. Since working for the company, Sean has participated in a number of trainings through Trane, learning more about equipment such as mini splits and variable speed high-end HVAC systems. He also received a certification with Water Furnace Geothermal systems and in less than five years of working with the R.A. Hoy, Sean was promoted to a management-level position.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn a trade that would allow me to have a successful future with no limitations,” Sean explained when asked what he enjoyed most about the program at COA. “The hands-on approach, along with great guidance, are a true asset to the program.” He enjoys giving back to the program as well, going into the classroom to share his story with students and discussing hiring opportunities.