Arlinghaus Plumbing Heating and Air creates own ‘university’ to address workforce solutions

Arlinghaus University recently completed its first class of seven heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians, who are now full-time at Arlinghaus Plumbing Heating and Air.

Arlinghaus University was founded by Brian and Heather Arlinghaus, who own Arlinghaus Plumbing Heating and Air in Erlanger, because of the labor shortage in their industry.

“We decided that we would start our own school, with our own teacher, to give a full career path to high school students, or anyone looking for a career switch,” says Brian Arlinghaus.

“Pre-COVID the workforce in the service sector across the country was short of tens of millions, and since then that number has grown even more. We thought this would be a good solution to get more people into work.”

Brian and Heather interviewed a lot of people and narrowed it down to seven people. The students are paid five months to attend Arlinghaus University. Each student signs a commitment stating that Arlinghaus pays $15 per hour for schooling. After graduation, they are automatically offered a job at Arlinghaus Plumbing Heating and Air as an HVAC maintenance technician.

“Brian and Heather Arlinghaus are an inspiration to innovative, creative business leaders,” said Erlanger mayor Jessica Fette. “They look outside the box to find solutions to challenges within their industry and with the establishment of Arlinghaus Academy they are creating and developing their own workforce. Not only does this creation help the organization, but it also improves the lives of those employees by giving them an opportunity that they may not have had available to them.”

The class is five days a week for eight hours and consists of a mix of online classes and in-person lab classes. Each student goes through four semesters. They have to test every semester and then they have one last test to graduate. This class started in January and recently graduated at the end of May.

The Arlinghaus chose one of their own employees, Nick Glace, to teach the course. Glace has been with Arlinghaus for seven years, starting as a technician and working his way up to management.

“We have also created a work lab where you can come and work with your hands, which creates an atmosphere that makes it easier for the students to learn by doing it themselves, then go online and do the curriculum,” says Brian Arlinghaus.

“Other schools and associations have evening classes, so students may get a few hours a night, but we’ve cracked up to 40 hours a week for five months. It is an excellent program where they learn the trade at a faster pace.”

Arlinghaus University will start with the next wave of students on July 19. This class will study to become a plumbing maintenance technician.

Then the next class is in November again for HVAC technicians.

Registration is currently open. Visit their website to apply and get more information.

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