Spring Branch ISD students can earn college credit and get paid with HCC program

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A dual-credit program offered through Houston Community College is giving students in Spring Branch ISD a head start into the workforce before they even graduate.

Abby Johnson is one of many high school students taking advantage of the TRIO program offered through Spring Branch ISD and HCC.

"I started with TRIO, and I loved it. Everything about it has been awesome to me," said Johnson.

The two-year program allows high school juniors to get a true "hands-on experience" in the workforce at TRIO, an electrical design and construction firm.

"I work with adults. I see actual careers, I see my options. It's not reading paper like, 'Oh, an electrician wires things. It's I'm wiring it," said Johnson.

Upon high school graduation and completing the program, students receive their level one certificate from HCC, which they can apply as credits toward a college degree.

"It's helping me skip almost a whole semester at U of H," explained Johnson.

There's also an option for students looking to jump right into the workforce.

"The goal ultimately is to have the students graduate from high school and Spring Branch with a level one certificate from HCC and be ready for employment directly after that," said Mike Webster, Associate Vice Chancellor, Workforce Instruction.

For Daniel Aleman, he decided to skip the college debt and landed a job with TRIO as an electrical helper right after high school.

"I did plan on going to college, but as of right now, I would just rather stay here in the warehouse, work, make a little bit of money," said Aleman.

For students in Spring Branch ISD, there are plenty of incentives, including a $13 an hour wage while you're working and learning the trade. The program will accept any student as long as he or she is committed to completing the two-year program.

You can find out more about enrolling in HCC's TRIO program through its website.

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