SJVC sees increase in trades, industrial training

San Joaquin Valley College opens 20,000-square foot building for HVAC-R, industrial machinery technician programs

VISALIA – Those looking for a career in HVAC and industrial maintenance will find there are plenty of opportunities to get started in Visalia.

San Joaquin Valley College’s Visalia campus, located at on West Mineral King Avenue where it turns into Kelsey Street, has expanded into a 20,000-square foot building for vocational training in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) as well as industrial maintenance technology (IMT). HVAC-R students learn to install, repair, or maintain those systems while IMT students learn to detect, diagnose and correct errors in industrial machinery before the machine or the products it produces are damaged. SJVC’s program provides IMT students with the basic knowledge of industrial electronics, robotics, and PLC (programmable logic controller) equipment.

With the recent explosion of new, larger tenants at Visalia Industrial Park, it’s no wonder why there has been more interest in locals wanting to complete and education in related fields just up the road.

During the day, SJVC’s enrollment is about 24 students with three instructors and four other staff members for the HVAC-R and IMT programs. At night, the college doubles enrollment to about 55 students for the two programs.

In fact, demand for the programs was so great, SJVC opened the new building prior to completing its application for a conditional use permit. The oversight was corrected last week when the Visalia Planning Commission approved the college’s permit for the building.

Previously used for auto consignment sales, the building, located at 8233 W. Hillsdale Ct., is not only home to classrooms for both program, but also storage areas for the labs for those classrooms as well as offices for administrative staff. The mixed-use facility is on land zoned for service commercial, so it required a conditional use permit to bring it into compliance for the different types of uses. For more information, visit

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