How you can earn $17 an hour while you learn instead of taking out student loans

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Instead of student loans, you can grab tools and earn a paycheck while you learn a new career.

Apache Industrial Services, a Houston-based company that provides industrial services like coatings and linings, offers an apprenticeship training program in which students train for two weeks and then work with a journeyman. Paid training starts at $17 an hour.



Students can learn about scaffolding, insulation and industrial coating.

"I've been more of a hands on, let me get my hands dirty and let me show you what I can do," said Marc Grant, who joined the apprenticeship program.

He said he wasn't sure what to do after leaving the military until he found Apache Industrial Services.

"This program gives me that opportunity," said Grant. "You get to learn a great trade, and you get to have fun while doing it."

Apache Industrial Services is also advocating to get more women in construction. The company's goal is to have 40% of its new recruits be women.

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"It makes me feel like women power," Jessica Wimbley, who is also participating in the program. "Like Superwoman. I can do exactly what they do."

Workforce Solutions works with companies like Apache to find new apprenticeship recruits. The programs have become increasingly more popular after boosted unemployment benefits in Texas ended last month.

If you're interested, but childcare is an issue, Workforce Solutions offers a new scholarship to help.

If you live in the Houston-area, are looking for work and meet income guidelines, which is $4,300 a month for a family of four, you could get help.

"For 90 days, we can help you out with the expenses for childcare for your kids who are 12 and under, or 18 and under if the child has a disability," said Workforce Solutions spokesperson Michelle Castrow.

"If you feel like, 'When I get out of the military, what am I going to do with my life? I'm losing that brotherhood and that comradery,' come here," Grant said.

Apache Industrial Services is already looking for August recruits.

If you're interested, visit the company's website.

For more updates, follow ABC13 reporter Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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