Goodwill receives grant to support HVAC-R certification program

Business News, Community News |Jul 8, 2024|2 min read



MUSKEGON, Mich. — Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (GIWM) was recently awarded a $32,800 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County in support of its new Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) certification program. The award comes from the Strategic Leadership Grant at the Community Foundation.

These funds will be used to support the installation costs of 12 HVAC-R training units, including electrical wiring, safe ventilation, and equipment installation. Goodwill is on track to launch the hands-on, 13-week program this fall.

“We sincerely thank the Community Foundation for Muskegon County for their generous support of this exciting new training opportunity for our community,” said President and CEO Jeanette Hoyer. “This HVAC-R vocational training will offer meaningful opportunities that can elevate people out of poverty and into a good-paying, life-long career.”

“We are targeting the Muskegon County ALICE population, and will provide wraparound services such as free, on-site child care and evening hours, for maximum barrier removal and certification success,” said Chief Workforce Officer Kristin Garris.

Goodwill’s selection of HVAC-R training was rooted in community research and discussions with its community and employer partners. There is currently a HVAC-R training void in Muskegon County with the nearest programs in Holland or Grand Rapids. These programs currently have long student waitlists, and offer few resources to support low-cost or free enrollment.

Goodwill was awarded a two-year Barrier Removal and Employment Success (BRES) Expansion Grant from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) earlier this year to provide programming to support employment and reemployment of at-risk individuals. The HVAC-R program is one of several certification programs Goodwill is launching in 2024 with the support of these funds.

Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (GIWM) — headquartered in Muskegon — is one of 154 locally-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in the Goodwill network across the U.S., Canada, and 12 other countries. Established in 1950, GIWM provides employment and training programs and services for people with barriers to employment funded largely by revenue generated from its retail stores, business services, and sustainability initiatives. For more information, visit

The Community Foundation for Muskegon County was created in 1961 by local residents to improve the quality of life in their communities.  A publicly supported community endowment, the Foundation works with donors, grantees, advisers, and communities to identify and support the issues that shape our area.  Learn more at