Leonardo Figueroa

Refrigeration Design Technology

“I started the HVAC program because I wanted to understand my job better — I was already working in the field. I was able to perfect some of the skills I needed for my job, especially in welding and soldering, which I was having some trouble with.

“The program was excellent, and I learned a lot. For instance, I had absolutely no knowledge of electrical systems, and now I feel pretty comfortable with them. My instructors — especially Ivory Armstead, Chris Colquitt and (adjunct instructor) Keith Bilbry — really pushed me. It’s a program I’ve already recommended to several people.

“I’d like to get a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering someday. Working in the HVAC business has gotten my foot in the door, and I’d like to stay with it, just at a higher educational level.

“The best part of earning my associate degree is that I get job offers at least once a month because of the training I now have. It’s nice to know that I can get a job anywhere. And by having that associate degree, I’ve been able to double my income.”

Leonardo Figueroa earned an associate degree in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology in May 2008. A graduate of Ferris High School in Ferris, Texas, he has worked as a pipefitter for seven years for Refrigeration Design Technology.