ABC13 Who's Hiring job fair helps students earn while they learn

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- After featuring a training program in our ABC13 Who's Hiring job fair, a group of students is now preparing to earn as they learn with new careers.

Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trade Council offers an apprenticeship readiness program. For three weeks, students get hands-on training learning a variety of trades.

Once they're done, instead of student loans, they enter a five-year apprenticeship, and get paid.

"It's earn while you learn, and the school is free, and you get a raise every year," explained Bryan Edwards, pipe fitters local union 211 business manager.

The pay starts at $15 an hour for some trades. Once complete, some pay $50 an hour.

"Pretty much all our apprentices and journeymen have a job right now, and a lot of them are working overtime, too," Edwards said.

Last year, we featured the program in our Who's Hiring job fair with Workforce Solutions. Those students just graduated. One of those graduating students is Violeta Nunez.

"I came and put myself out here, and I see that it's something that people can benefit from," Nunez said. "I'm very happy that I took this route."

Nunez just graduated from the school, but is already working at a job site. As a mother and veteran, she couldn't be happier with her decision.

"A woman can very much do it as much as a man can," Nunez said. "The fact that they offer that opportunity to a woman, I mean, why not?"

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Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trade Council offers an apprenticeship readiness program. "A woman can very much do it as much as a man can," one student said. "The fact that they offer that opportunity to a woman, I mean, why not?"



The school is looking for its next group.

"This is great to kind of give you an overview of all the programs, and opportunities on how to get in there," explained Paul Puente, Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trade Council secretary. "If you go up there on your own, the likelihood is you may fail."

You have to be 18 and have a high school diploma. It doesn't cost a thing.

If you lost your job during the pandemic, it could be a good option, because while many places shut down, these industries kept working.

"Things break down. They need to be fixed," Puente said. "Things need to be built, and that's the work that we do."

The next class will start this summer, but applications are being accepted now. To learn more, visit the Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trade Council website.

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