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Gustave A. Larson Company & GPS Education Partners Announce Industry Workforce Initiative

Strategic partnership will align Education to Industry and Students to Careers
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (February 19, 2019) Gustave A. Larson Company, the Midwest, Plains and Mountain states leading distributor of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration products, announced Monday their partnership with GPS Education Partners, a 501c non-profit organization that uses an innovative education model to partner students with businesses to accelerate technical education through increased exposure to careers in manufacturing and skilled trades.
The Larson Company is a proud leader in building industry talent pools and future workforces using a unique Youth Apprenticeship model designed by GPS that matches motivated student workers with promising careers at the ground level to expose students to career pathways in HVAC/R.
Starting with a pilot program that launched Oct 1. of this year, a typical student’s day is divided between classroom learning and work-based training delivered through the Larson Company and its business partners. A mentor at the workplace assists students in their day-to-day activities while teaching life-long skills they can apply far beyond their apprenticeship.  
 “The HVAC/R industry is facing a growing skills gap driven by an aging workforce, the rising employability gap and youths who are just not aware of careers in the industry. Partnering with GPS Education Partners will help accelerate HVAC/R careers among the young student population by providing a future workforce to help fill our talent pipeline, and a pipeline for our business partners,” said Andrew Larson, chairman and CEO of the Larson Company.
The Larson Company students will experience career pathways in the program through rotations between its West Allis facility, and working as a service technician apprentice with a handful of its contractor partners. This allows students to explore different work environments and business cultures, and to take on different roles and responsibilities, all while earning their high school diploma. Students can also emerge as leaders by learning self-awareness, decision-making skills, self-management and team work. They have opportunities to demonstrate those skills in their apprenticeship placement, as well as in the community by participating in service learning projects.
As the program expands, the Larson Company will be reaching out to more partners to employ more student candidates, identify mentors, and take an active role in filling their talent pipelines with students interested in a career in HVAC/R.
Stephanie Borowski, GPS Education Partners CEO and President, notes that the GPS Work-based Learning model is successful and repeatable. “We represent a broad community of educators and business leaders who believe in the transformation of education and training to develop our future workforce.  This collaborative work will prepare America’s youth for success in technical careers of the future and help rebuild the foundation of the middle class.”
About Gustave A. Larson Company
The Larson Company is the Midwest, plains and mountain states’ leading wholesale distributor of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) equipment, parts and supplies from over 450 different manufacturers. In addition to a full line of equipment, controls, supplies and replacement parts, each location offers customer educational opportunities, including technical and business training.
Family owned and operated since 1936, the Larson Company’s corporate offices are located in Pewaukee, Wis. The company employs 450 team members throughout 20 states and 52 locations.
To learn more visit or call 262-542-0200.
About GPS Education Partners
GPS is a community-based nonprofit 501(c)3 and the largest, statewide Department of Workforce Development Youth Apprenticeship Program in Wisconsin. Our community-based education model sets us apart, and is the catalyst to building strategic partnerships with education, business and community entities. These partnerships enable us to accelerate student preparation in technical careers through powerful, credentialed work-based learning solutions.
Founded in 2000 as a Work-based Learning intermediary to support the needs of 1 school, 1 business and 5 students, GPS Education Partners has graduated almost 700 students, from 45 school districts and 100 dedicated business partners.
To learn more visit or email