Bobby Ferrel, owner of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning of Durham, recently established a student scholarship to support local individuals interested in pursuing an HVAC career in the Durham area.
The $1,000 annual scholarship, established through a partnership with his local community college, is dedicated to Ferrel’s mentor and Durham mainstay, Rick Etheridge. Etheridge, who joined the One Hour team in 2015 as lead trainer, served the City of Durham for more than 30 years, 15 of those as the city’s Chief Mechanical Inspector.
“We will be awarding up to three recipients each year with this scholarship,” stated Ferrel. “Our intent is to encourage more young people to take a look at the HVAC industry as a viable career option.”
For this reason, Ferrel is also working hard toward establishing an apprenticeship program with the college and local high schools to expose young people to the HVAC industry and its potential for growth and a comfortable lifestyle.
“The HVAC industry offers a great opportunity for a rewarding career, yet it’s often overlooked when young people begin to think about their future endeavors,” said Ferrel. “The scholarship and apprenticeship program will hopefully give a whole new era of folks a window into the incredible lifestyle you can attain with hard work and training in this industry.”
The scholarship serves as the first of its kind for Durham Tech and is the first of more to come from Ferrel. “I’m hoping to expand this scholarship program to a few other colleges and get the apprenticeship program into more high schools. My goal is to help people in our community prosper.”