Trade Warriors Opens Doors to HVAC Careers for Military Members in Fort Cavazos

Trane’s Trade Warriors program helps create opportunities for retired military in the HVAC field, meeting industry demand and aiding veteran transition.

November 6, 2023
There are red and blue temperature gages in front of an air conditioner.

As military service members approach the end of their contracts, a question often looms large: 'What's next?' At the esteemed Fort Cavazos in Texas, the answer now includes an exciting opportunity for a lucrative career in the HVAC field. This is made possible through comprehensive technician training and career placement support offered by the innovative Trane Technologies Trade Warriors program. The Fort Cavazos site, launched in late August, builds upon the incredible success witnessed at the Fort Liberty program in North Carolina over the past two years. At Fort Liberty, approximately 125 service members have successfully graduated and transitioned into thriving careers in residential HVAC.

Meeting the Growing Demand for HVAC Professionals

Jason, Bingham, President of Trane Technologies’ Residential HVAC business offers interesting insight:

“With a projected skilled labor shortage of 122,000 technicians in HVAC alone, this program will bolster the talent pipeline and help dealers from across the country hire qualified workers. Most importantly, the Trade Warriors program provides rewarding careers to service members who have dutifully served our country and helps them transition into life after the military.”

The Fort Cavazos program location has been warmly embraced by the community and service members alike.

Anthony Maynor, a lead instructor for Trade Warriors, recounts the learning opportunity for military veterans:

“The people at Fort Cavazos were excited about the prospect of us joining their program as a CSP (Career Skills Program) provider that could provide heating and air conditioning training. After getting all the paperwork processed, we found the right facility and got the contractor to do the fit-out work to build the learning lab and classroom. As with any program, there were some fits and starts, but what we’ve created a fantastic learning environment for the service members.”


State-of-the-Art Facilities for Effective Learning

The Fort Cavazos facility, much like the original Trade Warriors site, incorporates a well-balanced layout featuring a classroom for academic studies and a hands-on learning lab equipped with Trane equipment. The lab boasts air conditioners, gas furnaces, and heat pumps, all within easy reach.

Nubia Simmons, from Orion Talent, was actively engaged in recruiting the first class at Fort Cavazos while the facility was under construction. As a 23-year military veteran who retired in June 2022, she personally understands the challenges of transitioning into civilian life and seeking a post-service career that truly fits. " We’re looking for people who have the will to want to do it," she affirms. " My screening always starts by asking why they want to become an HVAC technician. If they can’t answer that, it probably isn’t going to work. For the people who can, it’s their opportunity to get out of the military and be successful at something they want to do."


Optimizing Learning and Hands-On Experience

To ensure an optimum learning experience and safety, Trade Warrior classes are intentionally limited to 20 students. With 10 working systems in each of the heat pump and AC and gas furnace labs, this results in a maximum of two students per unit.

“The main thing is that it gives everyone plenty of hands-on time, but it’s also similar to how it works out in the field,” Maynor says. “Especially when they’re learning early on, they’ll usually be paired with someone before going solo once they’re more advanced.”

The first Fort Cavazos cohort graduated on October 13, and the next class began their HVAC journey on October 17 will graduate on December 8. “We've had great success so far,” Simmons says. “Twelve out of 16 passed their EPA certificate on the first try, which is one of the highest percentages so far in the Trade Warriors program. To me, success is getting the right candidate in the class and making sure they get a job after they graduate.”


“Through Trade Warriors, we're providing a program where soldiers can learn a trade that will support them and their families for the rest of their lives,” says Maynor. “These soldiers have a strong work ethic and a desire to learn and excel. Class starts at 8 a.m., and everybody's in their seats ready to go no later than 7:45. Dealers who do a good job mentoring and training them, and who provide a healthy company culture that a soldier can transition into, will be creating long-term loyal employees.”

About Trade Warriors: Trade Warriors is an intensive 8-week program that delivers over 300 hours of hands-on HVAC training for active-duty service members within 6 months of separation from the services or current veterans. The program aims to empower participants to embark on successful careers as HVAC service technicians or installers at Trane or American Standard dealers, thereby offering new career prospects for military veterans and enhancing the pool of qualified HVAC professionals in the industry.

Learn more at:

American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning -

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