The Lowe’s Foundation visited the Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech Community College on October 10 and 11 to formally announce its $700,000 Gable Grant to help the College expand its Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) programs. 

The grant is part of Lowe’s 5-year commitment to help fund the upskilling of 50,000 people for a career in trades through technical and community colleges. The Foundation’s investment will support appliance repair, carpentry, construction, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing programs. 

“Our mission at Ivy Tech is to educate and fuel Indiana’s economy with graduates who have the skills to meet employer’s needs, grow Indiana’s economy, and increase Hoosier prosperity. So, all of this is aligned completely with what Lowe’s is trying to do,” Dr. Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech’s President, said during a special luncheon held for Lowe’s team in the Conference Center and Culinary Institute. 

As part of the two-day visit, members of the Lowe’s Foundation were given a tour of Ivy Tech Indianapolis’ ESCO Excellence-accredited skilled trade labs. They met with HVAC faculty, instructors, and students in the program. 

“We are so excited as Lowe’s and Lowe’s Foundation partner with Ivy Tech to be able to reach out across Indiana to help expand the HVAC program and to help spread the word about what an amazing career pathway the skilled trades can be,” Betsy Conway, the Lowe’s Foundation Director, said. “Ivy Tech is a great partner in that work.”

Travis Tomey is currently enrolled in the HVAC program at Ivy Tech Indianapolis. Tomey says he enjoys the hands-on learning experience at Ivy Tech. 

“It’s easier to learn when you are hands-on and able to feel the stuff, instead of just doing the modules on the computer – which isn’t as involved because you’re just using a mouse. (The course work) is easier to obtain here,” Tomey said. 

Ivy Tech was one of the first 10 schools to receive a grant from the initial $8 million announced in July. The money will go toward developing a short-term HVAC skills training pilot program for entry-level technicians and providing unique training opportunities for justice-involved individuals. Across seven campuses, including Indianapolis, Ivy Tech will increase the number of HVAC graduates prepared to enter the construction industry because of this grant. 

You can learn more about Ivy Tech’s HVAC program at

NEXT: HVAC apprentice says his career progression has accelerated because of Indy’s ESCO-accredited program

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.