Nick Alspaugh DDN Feature

VANDALIA — While fellow kindergartners expressed dreams of becoming firefighters or police officers, Nick Alspaugh had another specialty in mind.

“My dad at the time worked at Emerson, a heating and air type company. When the teacher was having us share what we’d like to do, I drew (a picture) of a compressor, a condenser-like unit, and said I want to be in heating and air,” Alspaugh recalled.

The Tipp City resident continues to pursue that goal, most recently through the HVAC program at the Upper Valley Career Center in Piqua, at Edison State Community College in Piqua and through an apprenticeship at Waibel Energy Systems in Vandalia.

In a few weeks, Alspaugh will graduate from both the Career Center and from Edison, where he will be awarded an associate’s degree in electromechanical engineering.

For the past two years, he has attended the Career Center through open enrollment. Since last summer, he has worked at Waibel’s office with mentor Zac Prichard, manager of the company’s Kix Start energy savings program for business partners.

Alspaugh works with businesses such as hospitals, including the Cleveland Clinic, and universities monitoring information from each building where heating and air conditioning is the focus, keeping track of usage and other factors.

Prichard said Alspaugh works with Waibel-developed software to analyze equipment, map a building system and set the system controls for maximum efficiency for the business partner.

“This gives a platform for him to build some real life experience, gives him lots of credibility and knowledge. We have partners all across the country so he gets real life experience doing things to help them grow their businesses as well,” Prichard said.

Under the program, Alspaugh works on a rotation of two weeks on the job and two weeks at the Career Center with instructor Scott Naill and at Edison.

“I like the challenge,” he said of the HVAC field’s technical side. “It gets repetitive at times but it is cool to be able to finish a job, see the results of it and hear the satisfaction from our partners.”

Prichard praised Alspaugh’s work for Waibel. “Nick has done a good job for us. It has been a great experience for us,” he said.

The son of Philip and Rachel Alspaugh, he said he is finalizing plans for his education following graduation, looking at attending Sinclair Community College followed by Miami University.

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