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Blinn, Bryan ISD and Workforce Solutions partner for unique job-training program

Bryan ISD students will graduate with high school degree and machinist certification

April 10, 2014

Blinn College, Bryan ISD and Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley are partnering to bring high-quality job training to Bryan ISD students.

Seven seniors from Bryan ISD’s Mary Catherine Harris School are currently participating in the program’s inaugural 160-hour machinist class, including 104 hours of hands-on experience. The students are bussed to Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center in Brenham two days a week for 10 weeks. The program is a fast-tracked version of Blinn’s highly-regarded machinist program, and upon completion students will earn their machinist certification.

“These students don’t just graduate with a diploma,” said Megan Costanza, dean of Workforce Education at Blinn College. “They graduate with a high-demand skill that makes them immediately desirable to local companies.”

Machinists use specialized tools to make or modify metal and plastic parts by cutting away excess material in much the same way a woodcarver cuts away wood to form a specific shape or design. The Hodde Center course covers mathematics, precision measurement, blueprint reading and operation of mills and lathes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas machinists earn a mean hourly wage of $19.28.

“This project was created to facilitate graduating seniors in obtaining employment after they graduate in May,” said Trish Buck, Workforce Solutions program manager. “These are high-growth, high-paying jobs in the Brazos Valley, so there are lots of opportunities for these students once they complete the program.”

While Blinn provides the machinist training, Workforce Solutions provides job skills training, teaching students to draft strong resumes and complete successful job interviews. Students also get the opportunity to tour manufacturing sites, and Workforce Solutions will helps students obtain jobs upon completing the program.

Workforce Solutions sponsors each student through Workforce Investment Act youth training funds. The program is open to income-eligible students.

The Mary Catherine Harris School serves Bryan ISD students who are at-risk of not completing high school. It is designed for students willing to concentrate on scholastic work to gain a diploma or GED, coupled with a focus on the students' vocational/career objectives. To be admitted to this school, students must be nominated by their home campus academic adviser and/or administrator.

Blinn’s Workforce Education Division offers non-credit classes designed to fulfill the training needs of individuals, businesses and industry, and its staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu