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Careers in Construction Month– Lowder Brothers Heating & Air LLC Featured

Written by  Friday, 11 October 2019 21:56
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 Lowder Brothers employees and KTC HVAC graduates Evan Bean, Jacob Branscum, Jeremy Riggs, Justin Lowder, and Heath Lowder Lowder Brothers employees and KTC HVAC graduates Evan Bean, Jacob Branscum, Jeremy Riggs, Justin Lowder, and Heath Lowder Photos submitted by KTC

Submitted by KTC 

 

Poteau, Okla. – October is Careers in Construction month. Kiamichi Technology Center is partnering with local business, Lowder Brothers Heating & Air LLC, to spotlight how careers in construction play an important role in Oklahoma’s economy and provide career opportunities for the residents of LeFlore County. Oklahoma’s construction industry predicts a growth of 12 percent in the construction industry by 2022.

 

In 2006, Justin Lowder completed the Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Technology program at Kiamichi Technology Center’s Poteau Campus. Under the instruction of Barney Green, Justin was able to secure a job at Blaylock Heating & Air in Fort Smith as an HVAC installer. It did not take long for owner, Mike Blaylock, to appreciate Justin’s skill level and promote him to a service technician after only one week on the job. Justin’s brother, Heath, also worked at Blaylock Heating & Air as a service technician hand. Mike offered to pay for Heath’s training in KTC’s night HVAC program. After completing the program, Heath was promoted to service technician as well.

 

In June 2008, the Lowder brothers decided to venture into the world of small business owners by opening Lowder Brothers Heating & Air LLC. They operated out of a small shop behind Justin’s house in Arkoma. After a couple of years, Justin and his wife, Magen, built a home in Pocola and moved the business to a shop there. In 2017, Lowder Brothers Heating & Air LLC opened a brand new facility at 230 East Pryor Avenue in Pocola.

 

They currently employ 18 employees with five of these employees being graduates of KTC’s HVAC program. Along with Justin and Heath, Evan Bean, Jeremy Riggs, and Jacob Branscum are products of KTC’s HVAC program. Lowder Brothers has also expanded their operation to include electrical work and they are looking for qualified electricians and apprentices.

 

The culture of the workplace is important to Justin and Heath. Every Monday morning they provide breakfast and have an optional devotional time where they pray over their employees and their business. Participation is always optional but has been well attended. “Life is stressful enough; we want to provide a stess-free work environment. When we keep God the center of our business stress stays low. Everyone gets along and truly enjoys their jobs. It says a lot when your employees return to the shop every evening smiling even in 100+ degree temperatures.” Justin stated. The brothers also find joy in celebrating their employees’ successes and accomplishments. Heath commented, “Jacob recently bought a new truck. It’s rewarding to watch our employees excel and accomplish their goals.”

 

Justin and Heath cite the training provided by KTC as a key factor to their success. They are grateful for the quality CareerTech programs offered in our area. “I was able to complete the HVAC program in two years without any student debt and obtain a great paying job. There’s nothing like having the peace of mind that you can support your family.” Justin commented.

 

While at KTC Justin participated in the CareerTech Student Organization, SkillsUSA. Through this organization he competed in HVAC skill competitions. Justin won the adult student division at the state level 2 years in row and represented KTC in the national competition as well. Justin now serves as a Business & Education Council member for the HVAC program at KTC.

 

This allows him to contribute to today’s students by keeping the program advised on industry and workforce trends. The Lowder brothers also expressed the importance of the mentors within the industry who helped them along the way. Former KTC HVAC instructor, Barney Green, is still a valued mentor and resource to Justin and Heath.

 

Their former employer, Mike Blaylock, encouraged their venture of opening their own business and provided them with business advice until his passing last year. For more information on Lowder Brothers Heating & Air LLC follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lowderbrothers.

 

Kiamichi Technology Centers has played an integral role in southeastern Oklahoma communities since 1968, serving ten full and three partial counties. KTC is one of 29 districts in the Oklahoma CareerTech system with more than 30 career programs. KTC also offers a wide variety of evening and weekend short-term courses as well as certifications in many diverse career fields. KTC serves nearly 23,000 individuals each year, including many area companies who receive training through the Business and Industry Services division that works with over 400 businesses annually.

 

 

2 Heath Lowder 002

 Heath Lowder checks gauges on an HVAC unit

 

3 Justin Lowder 002

Justin Lowder displays his HVAC certifications and SkillsUSA awards

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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