Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical (Hiller), a local provider of residential and commercial service and repair, has Partnered with John Overton High School (JOHS).
Through PENCIL’s relationship with the Academies of Nashville, businesses like Hiller provide hands-on education in five industry-related areas encompassing over 40 subjects, at no cost to MNPS. These business and community partnerships enrich student learning by giving coursework relevance to future careers, improving graduation rates, building positive adult role model relationships and showing young people opportunities to enter into successful careers.
Hiller hosts regular, on-site lessons and demonstrations with students from JOHS, providing students with career pathways in the heating and cooling trades. Seasoned professional technicians demonstrate common trade skills, talk about their work and answer students’ questions in a close, hands-on environment that fosters future career interest.
“Hearing from experienced, practicing professionals, seeing demonstrations up close and watching the students engage and ask questions was time well spent,” noted Sandra Harris, Senior Partnership Manager. “We look forward to a continued successful collaboration as we build this partnership.”
Hiller will offer employment opportunities and internships for these young men and women in the trades through PENCIL.
“I am excited about our participation in this program because I started my own career in trades at an early age,” Mr. Hiller said.
The internships will provide an opportunity to learn alongside Hiller team members across multiple business and technical functions, giving them real-world experience and training for their future careers. Jimmy Hiller, the company’s CEO and founder, started his own career in the trades at an early age, making the Academy PENCIL Partners program particularly meaningful to him.
This school year, Hiller decided to bring on a full-time employee to teach HVAC classes at Overton. James Sparks, an experienced HVAC educator, applied for the position and was brought on board.
“Don Miller and I share the same philosophy on what a student needs to know to be successful as well as making sure we are putting them in a position so they can further themselves in this filed,” Sparks said.
A passionate educator, Sparks claims his education style is unconventional, but effective.
“I’m not afraid to do a little extra to make sure the kids have a grasp of what they’re doing,” Sparks said. “I want them to walk out the door and go to Hiller or any other company and get a job. That’s what I am here for.”
Overton is thrilled with the Partnership and the opportunities it provides.
“We are excited to launch this unique partnership with Hiller to provide new opportunities for our students,” Rebecca Farrow, JOHS Academy Coach, said. “Overton’s HVAC pathway holds the potential to introduce students to a variety of skilled trades while encouraging them to continue their education beyond high school, whether through apprenticeships, trade schools, or degree-bearing programs.”