Launched by Lincoln Educational Services Corporation and Johnson Controls, the Johnson Controls Academy is a six-week intensive training program focused on developing the next generation of building technicians. The program, based at Lincoln Tech’s Columbia, MD campus, was created to provide a pathway to employment at Johnson Controls locations throughout the U.S. Johnson Controls supports the students with on-site housing and relocation packages and plans to onboard approximately 130 new technicians or more each year.
“Johnson Controls has been an exemplary partner with us since the beginning,” said Scott Shaw, President and CEO, Lincoln Tech. “It was exciting to be able to start this relationship with them almost five years ago, and it’s extremely gratifying to see how they, in turn, are supporting our students and graduates. The Johnson Controls Academy is an innovative, forward-thinking solution to the hiring challenges many employers face today – and we’re proud to be able to host it at a Lincoln campus.”
The program welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds — from military veterans to adult learners — and has already graduated three classes of participants who have been placed in Johnson Controls technician roles throughout the U.S. including California, Florida, Virginia, Illinois, and Nebraska. This hands-on learning opportunity builds upon Lincoln Tech’s Electrical and Electronic Systems Technology (EEST) education for participants and prepares them for real-life experiences in the field. Housing is paid for by Johnson Controls for the full six weeks. Following completion of the Johnson Controls Academy program, new technicians’ relocation expenses when moving to the location of their new, full-time job are also supported by Johnson Controls.
“Johnson Controls Academy graduates are on track to become the next generation of innovators with the digital and technical knowledge to overcome our industry’s biggest challenges,” said Mike Schade, Vice President, Human Resources, Building Solutions North America, Johnson Controls. “Program participants are problem solvers, creative thinkers and are eager to enter a field with great demand, secure career opportunities and the potential for professional advancement. The skilled-trade gap continues to widen, but we are closing it one career at a time.”
Academy graduates are
on track to become
the next generation
of innovators with the
digital and technical
knowledge to overcome
— Mike Schade
Lincoln Tech and Johnson Controls’ partnership comes at a crucial time for the industry. An influx of trade professionals are expected to leave the labor force to change careers or retire, leading to a projection of nearly 10,000 job openings per year over the next decade. Recent years have seen a scarcity of candidates with the specialized skill sets needed to succeed in these roles. This workforce disparity slows innovation and negatively impacts the public and private organizations who depend on building technology leaders for critical infrastructure maintenance.
“The Johnson Controls-Lincoln Tech relationship is a premier partnership and a way for us to strategically build a pipeline of skilled trade technicians ready to enter the workforce,” said Alison Neuman, Program Manager of Workforce Development, Johnson Controls North America. “Establishing the Johnson Controls Academy was an idea that started in 2020 during the pandemic. We needed a model for quick skills-based learning for fields with a growing need. The existing partnership with Lincoln Tech was the key to making it happen.”
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Johnson Controls’ investment in workforce development begins at the K-12 level and continues throughout its employees’ careers. Johnson Controls Academy employees are provided a retention coach for a year post graduation. Since 2018, Johnson Controls has sponsored Lincoln Tech classrooms with industry-standard equipment and technology, empowering students at the career training school to reap the benefits of real-world learning.