BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- The Texas Workforce Commission has awarded Blinn College a $195,000 Building and Construction Trades Grant to establish new plumbing and carpentry programs at the RELLIS Campus.
Blinn expects to begin both programs in June 2017.
“This grant will provide funding for the tools and materials to establish first-class plumbing and carpentry programs with nationally recognized curricula,” said Jay Anderson, Dean of Technical and Community Education.
In addition to providing funding for tools and materials, the grant also will fund student scholarships. Blinn plans to begin offering its plumbing and carpentry programs in June. The grant also provides scholarship funds for both programs, as well as Blinn’s Electrician Program located at the Highway 60 Workforce Education Center in Bryan.
Demand for both programs continues to grow locally and across the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national demand for plumbers is expected to grow 12 percent between 2014 and 2024, generating 49,100 additional jobs with a median pay of $50,620 per year. Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley anticipates 17 percent growth locally during that same span, with an hourly salary range between $12.17 and $21.27.
The national demand for carpenters is expected to grow 6 percent between 2014 and 2024, generating 60,400 jobs nation-wide with a median pay of $42,090 per year. Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley anticipates 14.5 percent growth locally during that same span, with an hourly wage between $11.65 and $18.
Blinn’s plumbing and carpentry programs are designed following National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum. This nationally recognized curriculum was developed with the cooperation of more than 125 construction CEOs, trade association officials, and academic leaders. Students who complete these courses will earn the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour Construction Certificate; the NCCER Core Construction Certificate; the NCCER Level I Certificate for plumbing or carpentry; and the Blinn College Certificate of Completion.
The Carpentry Program will include 155 contact hours of skills training and assessments covering building materials, fasteners, and adhesives; hand and power tools; construction drawings, specifications, and layout; floor systems; wall systems; ceiling and roof framing; building envelope systems; and basic stair layout. The program also includes a 10-hour OSHA construction training course covering recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of workplace safety and health hazards, and 75 hours of skills training and assessments in basic safety, construction math, hand tools, power tools, construction drawings, basic rigging, communication skills, employability skills, and material handling. Students who successfully complete the program will be awarded the NCCER Carpentry Level I Certificate and their assessments will be entered in the NCCER National Registry as a Carpentry Level I completer.
The Plumbing Program will include 145 contact hours of skills training and assessments covering introductory plumbing; plumbing tools; plumbing math; plumbing drawings; plastic pipe and fittings; copper tube and fittings; cast iron pipe and fittings; steel pipe and fittings; plumbing fixtures; drain, waste, and vent systems; and water distribution systems. The program also includes a 10-hour OSHA construction training course covering recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of workplace safety and health hazards, and 75 hours of skills training and assessments in basic safety, construction math, hand tools, power tools, construction drawings, basic rigging, communication skills, employability skills, and material handling.
Students who successfully complete the program will be awarded the NCCER Plumbing Level I Certificate and their assessments will be entered in the NCCER National Registry as a Plumbing Level I completer.
Blinn’s 19-week plumbing and 20-week carpentry programs will consist of eight contact hours per week.
“By offering Level 1 and Level 2 training, Blinn offers training for students with a variety of skill sets without duplicating the construction trade programs offered by Bryan ISD and College Station ISD,” Anderson said. “These programs will advance the skills of more experienced students while offering quality introductory courses for those new to construction trades.”
Blinn currently is accepting applications for plumbing and carpentry instructors. Both jobs are posted on the Blinn website at https://employment.blinn.edu, and require at least three years of professional experience. Plumbing instructors must be licensed journeyman or master plumbers.
In December 2016, Blinn and TEEX announced a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their partnership to meet Brazos County’s growing demand for workforce training programs. Per the agreement, TEEX and Blinn will work together to provide training for the targeted occupations identified specifically by the Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley Board and as confirmed by each institution’s market research related to training needs in the Brazos Valley.
Blinn’s workforce training job placement rate exceeds 90 percent over three years, and its state licensure exam pass rates were 89.74 percent for the most recent academic year. Blinn has committed to providing training for 33 Targeted Occupations (97%) on the Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley Targeted Occupations List released in October 2016, including all seven Targeted Occupations with an hourly wage of $30 or more, and the 10 positions with the most job openings each year, totaling 550 annual positions. Of the 28 programs Blinn currently offers, 27 are located in Brazos County.