Graduate Spotlight - HVAC-R

Potential Music Major Changes His Tune

hvac-Justin_BallengerEven though his father owned an Upstate HVAC company, Justin Ballenger didn’t plan to go into the family business right away. While in high school, Justin worked full-time in the summers at RSI Carolina. But up until his junior year in high school, he thought he wanted to attend a university and major in music.

Around this time the economy took a major hit and Justin began to reconsider his options. He had friends with bachelor’s degrees and lots of student debt who couldn’t find a good job after college. Justin decided to pursue HVAC and began taking evening classes at Greenville Technical College (GTC) during his last semester of high school.

After graduating from high school, Justin continued to work at RSI during the day and attend class in the evenings. For him, it was the best of both worlds. “I benefited greatly from the flexible schedules offered at Greenville Tech,” said Justin. “I was working in the field during the day and then learning the fundamentals of my field in class at night.”

Justin excelled in the program and participated in two national SkillsUSA competitions during his time at GTC. The SkillsUSA Championship is the showcase for the top career and technical students in the nation and Justin placed third at the Kansas City competition in 2012.

Justin is now the Operations Manager at RSI and credits Greenville Technical College with helping him to get on the right track for his career. His advice for students considering the HVAC program is to work hard and pay attention to the instructors. “You will get out what you put into it.”