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Local business provides HVAC student with tuition reimbursement | Bismarck State College

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Local business provides HVAC student with tuition reimbursement

H.A. Thompson & Sons hired Deven Ehrlich of Bismarck during the summer of 2018. They encouraged him to go to school for HVAC in the fall and to apply for their tuition reimbursement program. “I pursued it because I wanted to expand my knowledge,” said Ehrlich.HVAC
After completing BSC’s program, graduates enter the workforce at an entry level. “They come out of school being trained, but it’s like every other thing, our business and industry changes daily and yearly, so training continues on while working for us,” said Larry Hill, operations manager at H.A. Thompson & Sons.
He added that they see a huge difference in their employees who have gone through the program. “Prior to them going to college, they just ride along. Now they are the diagnostic technician on the job site trying to determine what’s wrong in real life. Before they may not know how to take anything apart. Now they know how it comes apart and how it has to go back together again. When they bring some of that basic knowledge back, it’s very important for us.”
Ehrlich has also seen the value in his education. “I really do enjoy it. I feel like I’m learning a lot from it. It’s thorough. And, it’s really nice to be done in 10 months, since I’m ready to go back to work.”
Hill said that H.A. Thompson & Sons has 42 service technician positions to keep filled, so offering tuition reimbursement helps with that. It also helps them give back. “With the program, we are going to invest in them but at the same time, these young folks are investing in their own future. We want them to be successful.”

One of the best ways to learn the service side of HVAC is by working on real machinery. Assistant Professor Ryan Okerson is always on the hunt for broken fridges, freezers, AC units and heaters for the students to fix. The repaired items are then sold with proceeds benefiting the program or returned for a small fee.
To donate or bring an item to be repaired, contact Okerson at