Blinn College trying to fill new trade classes

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - If you're looking for a fast-track to a new career, Blinn College has some new classes.

The problem is they need more people to sign up.

They are offering new career classes in things like carpentry, HVAC, electrical, and facilities maintenance.

"We are encountering some challenges right now. We've been trying to publicize these classes as much as we can, but we're getting only just a few phone calls and a few people coming in," said Ken Dupre, Blinn College Director of Technical and Community Education for Bryan Campuses.

"There's interest because when I'm out in the community talking to people, they're saying wow this is great. 'Hey, I know somebody who should be doing this,' but we need you to pick up the phone and give us a call or get on our website," said Dupre.

Their bootcamps only last a short time and can cost up to $1,800.
Many of them will be offered at the new Texas A&M RELLIS Campus.

They are even offering half price with support from Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley.

"First of all, it's cheaper. Many of these are subsidized that we're providing some assistance too. Many of these classes are 8 to 12 to 24 weeks and you can get your certification," said Tom Wilkinson, Executive Director for Brazos Valley Council of Governments.

He says people need to take advantage of these discounts.

"We're targeting 18 to 24 year olds with this particular program of about five or six courses. Not limited to that, but that's our target audience," he said.

"We are doing a lot of same things that Lone Star does. With TSTC, they're a two-year program, so a person that starts now won't even be going out in the job market for another two years. With us, in six months they're going to be out here," said Dupre.

While TSTC does offer two year associate's degrees, they tell us not all their programs take two years. Some of their certificate programs take just one year.

Workforce Solutions is sponsoring the new Blinn classes as part of a $300,000 workforce grant for 2018.

We also wanted to see how the costs compare to Texas State Technical College in Waco and Lone Star College.

These boot camp courses were less expensive in many cases. However, what Blinn is offering is a much quicker period learning the curriculum, so it's not completely an apples-to- apples comparison.

We have more information on the boot camps in the related links section of this story.