Father and sons learn together, work together at MCC

Kyle Eslinger (center) with sons Trey (left) and Tanner

Kyle Eslinger and his twin sons are close. Especially when they’re at the MCC-Business and Technology HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) facility.

Kyle, a Navy veteran, is the lab technician for the HVAC program.  His 17-year-old sons Tanner and Trey are his student workers.

Together they make sure the lab and equipment are ready for students to use. Tanner and Trey not only help keep the lab in good working order, they use it themselves as students in the program.

The boys are seniors at Winnetonka High School in the Northland. They are MCC dual credit students, meaning they take classes that count as both high school and MCC college credit. Next spring they will graduate with both their high school diplomas and associate in applied science degrees from MCC.

It’s something the Eslingers encourage other students to do. “If you’re willing to work, you’ll get something out of it,” Trey says.

The Eslingers repair an ice machine in MCC’s HVAC lab.

Enrolling in the HVAC program became a family affair after Trey expressed interest. Then he wanted his brother to join him.

Kyle Eslinger had already completed MCC’s  welding program.  He told his sons that if they both enrolled, “I would do HVAC with them. I didn’t realize the HVAC facility was as big as it was. It blew my mind.”

Kyle completed the HVAC program in the spring of 2018. During his time as a student he took one class with his sons.

Kyle was hired as the HVAC lab technician in October. While he doesn’t teach classes, he does assist with the labs.

His sons admit working and learning from their father is hard sometimes. Kyle likes to push his sons to do their best. “I expect a lot out of them. But at the same time I couldn’t be more proud. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Tanner adds: “It’s cool to come here and do it together.” Maybe one day they’ll start a family business.

But that’s not a priority. Trey and Tanner are focused on other careers right now. This fall they will attend the University of Central Missouri. Trey plans to earn a degree in automotive repair and open his own business, while Tanner will pursue a criminal justice degree.

Still, they don’t plan to set aside the skills they learned at MCC. The brothers say they have a skill they can use to work their way through college and to fall back on if times get tough.

“No matter what, we’ll be able to work,” their dad says. “There will always be a need for heating and cooling. They will always be able to make money.”

The Eslingers create metal liners for the shelves in MCC’s HVAC lab.