Manchester Community College
Associate of Science in HVAC Systems, 1990
Trinity High School graduate Kim Trisciani would not have guessed that she’d find her niche in the building trades – a field few women enter in New Hampshire and across the country.
“In high school, I thought I was going to be an accountant because I was really good at math, but the reality was that I couldn’t sit still.”
She pursued her Associate of Science in Business Administration from NH College (now Southern NH University), but also enrolled in the NH Plumbers & Steamfitters local union apprenticeship program to experience a more hands-on work environment.
“The apprenticeship program helped me realize that I wanted to gain advanced HVAC skills that would help me excel in the building trades. It seemed to fit my personality much better than an administrative position. I knew I could become very successful in HVAC.”
Kim researched area colleges and found the HVAC certificate program at Manchester Community College (MCC) to be a good fit. It was close to home, affordable and offered a comprehensive program that would teach her what she needed to get started in the field.
“HVAC is the other side of plumbing – it’s more of a specialty actually, because it deals with anything that heats and cools your house. I wanted to make sure I could work all 12 months out of the year. With HVAC I could do just that.”
When Kim started the HVAC certificate program in 1988, she was the only woman in the program.
“The instructors at MCC were very good. One professor that stands out is Dave Pichette, the lead in the HVAC program. He treated me like everyone else and to me, that was huge. He did everything he possibly could to make sure I got what I needed out of the class to become successful in the field.”
While Kim was in the apprenticeship program two nights a week, she worked full time and spent one night during the week and every Saturday working toward her HVAC certificate.
“I had to juggle. It was hard, but I knew that I could keep on going one step at a time. It all actually went by faster than I had expected.”
The certificate program at MCC helped shape Kim’s career path.
“I was able to expand my capabilities and become more marketable. That enabled me to earn more, take care of my family and improve my community.”
After graduation, Kim spent 20 years at one of the top mechanical contractors in New Hampshire, building a career and gaining key professional networks. She followed that up with nine years as the Apprenticeship Training Coordinator for the NH Plumbers & Steamfitters local union, and then moved on to Honeywell International as the field supervisor for the State of New Hampshire.
“I now work as an inside sales representative for HVAC and refrigeration for the F.W. Webb Company in NH. I help our clients with design, installation and maintenance of our products. I love what I do and have built a career I am proud of.”
Kim is committed to improving her community and giving back in any way that she can. That’s why she chose to sit on the Board of Trustees for the Community College System of NH, The State of NH Plumbing Board, and various other trade related organizations. Today, she gives back by teaching in the NH Plumbing Apprentice Program.
For students looking at strengthening their own lives and communities, Kim offers this advice:
“Continue your education. Learn new skills so you can improve your own life and your community. Take classes, build your portfolio and keep on moving.”
Kim says community college is the perfect place to take general education classes, explore interests and branch out to meet new people or to find your niche.
“Before you know it, you have a degree in your pocket and people to guide you. Going to a community college puts opportunities in front of you.”