Looking for work? Trying changing career fields

October 5, 2011 5:48:40 PM PDT
Those looking for work may want to consider training for a new field. A couple of community college career tracks nearly guarantee employment and the cost is fairly reasonable.

Jesus Chavez is one of about 800 San Jacinto College students learning how to become mechanics.

"We are simulating how to measure all the stuff in a circuit, so when we get in the field, we can actually do the same thing, but on a car," he said.

the idea is to get a job after a two-year course that offers hands-on training in a field that needs workers right now. W.C. Smith with Monument Chevrolet might just hire a few.

"We have got probably two-thirds of my current employees, current technicians are graduates of this program," he said.

Smith has seen people start as mechanics at his dealership only to end up with bigger responsibilities.

"One of my sales managers started in the program as a high school students, completed the program for college and has worked in my body shop and is now a sales desk manager," he said.

Officials at San Jacinto College say they have 100 percent placement for graduates of the auto tech program as well as allied health fields and petrochemical students.

To help the future mechanics, the college just cut the ribbon on a $21 million facility that will turn out hundreds of certified mechanics each year.

"Right now, we have more jobs than we have people coming out of the program," said Jeffrey Parks with San Jacinto College. "That's the great thing about it because the industry is growing so much right now."

Parks is the dean of Industrial and Applied Technology. He says many community college degree programs come with the potential for lifelong employment.

"They are going to have job security," said Parks. "It is not a job that someone is going to take and move overseas."

It's not just San Jacinto College. Community colleges across our area offer all sorts of career fields where people are needed to work right now.


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