TSC, BISD combine resources to meet demand for welders - Brownsville Herald: Education

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TSC, BISD combine resources to meet demand for welders

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:00 am

Two of Brownsville's most historic institutions will rely on their long standing and successful working relationship to address the need for additional skilled labor.

Expansions in the red-hot oil and gas industry along the Texas Gulf Coast mean new jobs in an assortment of trades and crafts—and Texas Southmost College and the Brownsville Independent School District - are committed and poised to play larger roles in supplying local workers for these jobs.

Over the past several months, TSC and the BISD Career and Technology Education Department have been working to finalize their plans to begin offering specialized training for entry-level positions for an industry in immediate need of 250 welders and calling for more than 500 new welders over the next five years.

Designed to benefit nontraditional students, district families, and local residents, TSC will provide basic welding courses at Brownsville ISD beginning in September.

“This arrangement means nontraditional students, BISD families, and local residents can learn welding and receive industry-based certifications while attending classes in some of their own neighborhoods,” said Jesús Roberto Rodríguez, TSC president. “It's a no-nonsense approach to a pressing need.”

Thanks to the longstanding collaboration between TSC and the Brownsville ISD, TSC's welding class will utilize the welding labs already in place at Veterans Memorial Early College High School.

In collaboration with BISD's CTE Administration, TSC has designed this class to deliver required skills in a short span of time so new welders can enter jobs quickly. This is a 160-hour, 14-week course that will prepare students to weld using Shielded Metal Arc, Flux-Core Arc, Gas Metal Arc, and Gas Tungston Arc Welding.Completers will be able to sit for the American Welding Society certification exam, receive OSHA 10 certification, and receive a TSC Certificate of Completion.

The collaboration is one Brownsville ISD Superintendent Rene Gutierrez values highly.

"Brownsville ISD and Texas Southmost College have been close partners for many years," Gutierrez said. "We have the same purpose and serve the same community. We care about students and their success. Having TSC welding classes in existing facilities at our high schools makes sense. It brings workforce training closer to the people who need that training. It is one more way the people of Brownsville benefit from our close collaboration."

New construction projects in addition to major petrochemical and manufacturing expansions are already underway along the Texas Gulf Coast, and contributes to the region's needs to prepare additional workers.

“We will continue to work closely with our industrial partners, city and county leaders, state agencies, other institutions of higher education, and our local ISDs to make sure we work together to meet these challenges in a timely manner," Rodríguez said.

Financial assistance, including scholarships, is available for eligible students. The fall class begins Sept. 9, 2019.

To learn more about this new welding program or to register for a fall class, contact TSC's Office of Workforce Training and Continuing Education at (956) 295-3367 or visit tsc.edu/wtce.

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