Penn College HVAC faculty member awarded industry grant

A member of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been awarded a $2,500 industry grant to continue work toward his bachelor’s degree.

Kenneth E. Welker Jr., an HVAC technology lecturer and former toolroom attendant in the college’s School of Construction and Design Technologies, is the first recipient of a Dan Holohan Grant from the Oil and Energy Service Professionals.

The trade group instituted the scholarship program as a tribute to Holohan – a technical writer, industry expert and founder of www.HeatingHelp.com. Knowing that education is costly, supplies more challenging to acquire and support more difficult to come by, Holohan suggested that financial assistance be provided to those who teach the industry’s future technicians.

“Ken is a perfect fit in our HVAC program,” said Richard C. Taylor, associate professor of plumbing and heating. “He is deep in his technical knowledge and excellent in connecting with and encouraging our students.”

Welker, of Jersey Shore, worked by day after high school and, at night, attended classes at Penn College predecessor Williamsport Area Community College. He graduated in 1984 with an associate degree in machine tool technology and went to work with his father in the family heating and plumbing service business. After his father’s retirement, Welker took over and propelled the company into the 21st century.

Through it all, he fostered a dream of turning his field experience into a teaching career – a goal that Welker is augmenting through pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in workforce education and development at Penn State.