Jones County Junior College (JCJC), Ellisville, Miss., will expand its heating and air conditioning program to include ammonia refrigeration training, thanks to a new partnership with Wagner-Meinert LLC. The Ft. Wayne, Ind.-based company also will establish a certified RETA testing center to ensure industrial ammonia refrigeration operators/technicians in the region can stay in compliance with OSHA and EPA standards.

Four RETA-authorized instructors from Wagner-Meinert will use JCJC’s ammonia refrigeration system for hands-on training when courses are offered later this year. Industrial ammonia refrigeration training will be offered based on the demands of the area. According to JCJC, the new partnership eventually will allow the school’s HVAC instructors to expand the college’s current curriculum to include ammonia refrigeration training for students. The partnership also will enable better use of the school’s ammonia refrigerated ice machine system in the heating and air conditioning laboratory.

Jeff Sloan, Wagner-Meinert’s lead instructor, noted that while there are no federally mandated regulations for industrial refrigeration operators/technicians, they are certifications more companies are requiring of their employees. “The [employers of refrigeration operators/technicians] are required by OSHA and the EPA to have trained operators. Employers are also mandating [that technicians/operators] have RETA certifications like CARO and CIRO. These credentials and training benefit the companies because they show the extra effort to be in compliance.” Certified Assistant Refrigeration Operator (CARO) and Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operator (CIRO) certification training will be offered.

Wagner-Meinert offers services such as ammonia refrigeration and HVAC maintenance and training, food process and mechanical contracting, and process safety management.