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

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

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

“We decided we were going to start our own school, with our own teacher, to give a full career path to high school students, or someone who was looking for a career change,” said Brian Arlinghaus.

“Pre-COVID the service industry workforce nationwide was tens of millions short in the, and since then, that number has increased even more. We thought this would be a good solution to get more people in the workforce.”

Brian and Heather interviewed many people and narrowed it down to seven individuals. The students get paid for five months to attend Arlinghaus University. Each student signs a commitment stating Arlinghaus will pay for schooling at $15 an hour. Once they graduate, they are automatically offered a job with Arlinghaus Plumbing Heating and Air as an HVAC maintenance technician.

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

Class is five days a week for eight hours and consists of a mixture of online classes and in-person lab classes. Each student goes through four semesters. They must test out of each semester and then they have one final test to graduate. This class began in January and recently graduated at the end of May.

The Arlinghaus’ picked one of their own employees, Nick Glace, to teach the course. Glace has worked for Arlinghaus for seven years, beginning as a technician and working his way up to management.

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

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

On July 19, Arlinghaus University will be starting with the next wave of students. This class will study to become plumbing maintenance technicians.

Then the following class in November will be for HVAC technicians again.

Enrollment is currently open. Visit their website to apply and find out more information.