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CBC offering free training to begin career in energy sector

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 18:51:43-04

BEEVILLE, Texas — Coastal Bend College (CBC) is trying to fill a need. Trying to help fill high demand jobs that are needed all over Texas. Those are energy jobs.

With some state funded grants, people are able earn certifications and start getting into new career fields.

“People want and need these jobs,” Jarod Bleibdruy said, dean of career and technical education at CBC.

Two state grants will create two free programs at CBC.

One of those programs is for industrial mechanics. Jobs from this course can range from electrician, to wind or solar technicians to manufacturing and more.

Skyler Bell is in her last semester at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and eager to jump at this chance.

“Taking advantage of this class, like having an opportunity to do something for free versus having to pay like$1400 for a class or any amount of money, it’s hard. Especially in this economy,” said Bell, the Sweeny, Texas native.

She's trying to take advantage of all opportunities as she enters the energy sector.

"As a woman it's already pretty hard in this field, just to be noticed," Bell said.

That program is 98 percent online. Students can take it at their own pace.

“Can take anywhere from two to six months," said Bleibdruy. "If they need to take a little bit longer, that’s fine too. We can accommodate. They will have a hands on portion that normally lasts a couple of days inside of Alice, Texas. But they can schedule that according to their own schedule.”

The other program is a six month EMT training course. This is all in person, also in Alice. The class meets three days a week from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Both grants allow equipment to be bought for the courses. So, those training to be an EMT will have the opportunity to learn in an ambulance simulator.

Both programs are designed to be accelerated courses to get people into high demand jobs right away. Bleibdruy said take a look around Texas, energy jobs are what the state is about.

“There’s a copious amount of jobs and opportunities for a lot of residents and it doesn’t take an engineer degree to get into a lot of these high paying jobs. You do need a certain skill set, but that’s what these programs are designed to do,” he said.

Originally, each program was only going to accept 15 participants, but Bleibdruy said the response has been “astronomical.”

“I know I have more emails than I can count, but we are working on securing additional funding so that nobody’s left out,” he said.

Bell has her eyes set on her future if she can get accepted to the program.

“I really likes Phillips 66. That company has been (a part of) my family for a while," said Bell. "It’s a great company. It’ll give me an opportunity to branch out.”

CBC also is allowing students to take these courses and put them towards a degree.

"So, for industrial mechanics, these courses being offered will be able to convert into a degree going forward," Braden Becknell said, director of workforce development and continuing education. "So, if a student's interested and wants to continue on to an associates degree, for $25 a course they can convert these courses into credit courses towards a degree."

Texas residents are eligible for the courses. You must be 17 years or older and be a U.S. resident or have permanent residency in Texas.

For more information on the courses you can click here.

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