The mission of the Houston County Career Academy is to ensure a viable 21st century workforce for Houston County.

MACON, GA, March 21, 2021 /Neptune100/ — Jeff Avant completed the Northside High School HVAC pathway in 2017. He has only had one job since graduating high school, Hoke’s Heating & Air. Four years ago Hoke Morrow gave Jeff a chance to show up on time and to learn as much as he could. Since that time Jeff has logged over 7800 on the job hours performing installations on new construction and residential homes.

Today Jeff trains Perry High School senior Andrew Grant on new construction installs and change outs at the Hawkinsville location. Andrew is a current Perry High School senior who is taking the HVAC pathway at the Houston County Career Academy as an elective. Andrew started working for Hoke’s Heating & Air his junior year via the Youth Apprenticeship Program right before the pandemic forced the school system to finish via virtual learning.

Andrew loves working at Hoke’s and hopes to one day help another Houston County student when they gain employment at Hoke’s: “I think it’s amazing because I have actually gotten the skills and everything I need from my pathway along with my job training to start my career before I leave high school.”

Hoke’s Heating & Air has raised the industry standard for partnerships in Houston County and demonstrates continued commitment to local students having hired five students with three still employed. Hoke’s Heating & Air, located at 500 Courtney Hodges Blvd. in Perry and 370 Industrial Blvd. in Hawkinsville, is a family owned and operated company specializing in all residential and commercial cooling and heating needs for Central Georgia.

CEFGA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, created in 1993 as the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia. CEFGA partners with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to provide support and services to skilled trade construction programs statewide. The lack of skilled workers is also a problem in Georgia, with a shortage of more than 61,000 workers reported in 2019. The need has continued through the pandemic. Closing this skills gap by educating more Georgians about careers in the skilled professions is CEFGA’s primary goal.