Charlotte company giving challenged students a chance at promising careers

Published: Jun. 29, 2017 at 9:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2017 at 1:37 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning in Charlotte was having a tough time finding skilled workers for their company recently.

Paul Stefano, who is the general manager, then learned about the organization "The Relatives." The group helps young people find homes and jobs so they can get on their feet.

"Some are situational poverty and don't know how to get through it," The Relatives employment specialist Jennifer Guy said. "A lot of them are in situations because of their parents, and they are out here just figuring it out."

Last year, The Relatives placed 134 young people in jobs - and now they've found another employer. One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning will now partner with The Relatives and offer students a chance to learn a trade and get hired by the company.

"It's going to give them a jump-start on life," Stefano said. "They can make really good money and not worry about going to college."

It's a six-month, hands-on course. Students will get all the training they need to be successful HVAC technicians, and then they can apply for a job that could pay as much as $50,000 a year.

"It gives that opportunity for that young adult who doesn't do well in the classroom, who has no idea what a nine-to-five, white-collar professional career would look like for them, but they are good with their hands," Guy said.

Starting in October, One Hour Heating and Air will train 16 young people from The Relatives. The class can take up to 20. The training cost about $5,000 dollars. Scholarships will be offered for the students.

"It's going to give them peace of mind," Stefano said.

One Hour Heating and Air says the students should be finished in April 2018.

You can apply or learn more about the apprenticeship at

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