CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coastal Bend College in Alice will soon become a training ground for a future workforce with a new state-of-the-art industrial mechanics program launching in the fall.
The Industrial Mechanics program will be both in person and online, with realistic simulators that students can access with from home.
The course will be 50% theory and 50% hands on in the industrial lab, online some college classes that are strictly lecture. The program will teach industrial skills that are in high demand and come with high pay.
Once students complete the Industrial Mechanics Program they can work in jobs like wind farms, solar energy, oil fields, electricians and more.
"In this room right now there’s equipment that could train individuals for more than ten different occupations," Jarod Bleibdrey, the dean of Career and Technical Education said.
The new program was placed in Alice because of the very high wind and oil industry in the Coastal Bend. The program doesn’t only benefit the students. Coastal Bend College hopes that the program will also match one of their pillars, targeting their community.
"We could show them what we're doing, the product we're producing, which are the students, and that they have a work ready work force ready to go," President of Coastal Bend College Justin Hoggard said. "This will overall help the economic development not only in Alice but in areas like Kingsville, Beeville and the entire Coastal Bend."
Some community members, like country artist Robert Ray Molina are getting a head start and already giving back.
He attended Coastal Bend College for a while before graduating from Texas A&M University - Kingsville with a degree in Industrial Management and Technology. Now, he wants to give back to the place he calls home.
"I’ve always wanted to do something in the industrial field and so me being able to teach a brand new program, especially in my hometown, worked out great," Molina said.
With the Texas Reskilling and Upkilling (TRU) grant, the college was able to buy state of the art equipment and provide students with not only an instructor, but one who is actively training for the upcoming course by attending workshops.
Once students complete the program they will earn an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Industrial Mechanics and a skill set for life.
"A lot of people, when they look at college, they think of the challenge that lies ahead," Bleibdrey said. "They can be a single parent, they can work full time, they're too old to go back to school or they're already doing one thing and they can't do another. But from my own personal experience — I was a single father working full time at the prison on my days off, going to school and not getting many hours of sleep — but when you come out the other end there’s nothing like it."
Registration for the Industrial Mechanics Program is open and seats are expected to fill up quick. The first day of class is Monday, Aug. 21.
For those interested in applying to the program, contact coastalbend.edu or contact Dean Bleibdrey at his office phone (361) 358-2339.