The Blinn College campus in Bryan is embarking on a new program to address a growing need for apartment technicians.
"In our community, we have so many rental units that our employers are looking for trained personnel," said Rosemarie Selman, the executive director of the Bryan-College Station Apartment Association. "With the 50,000-plus students that we have in Bryan and College Station, we have a lot of turnover."
With the high turnover rates comes a high need for trained technicians. That's why Blinn teamed up with the apartment association to equip technicians with the necessary skills needed to work in the field.
Officials say the program is the first of its kind.
"It's actually the first program that has been sponsored through the community college level under the national association," said Brian Burk of Blinn College Workforce Education. "We're pleased to be the pilot group."
The program prepares students to become certified apartment maintenance technicians. Students have been hard at work receiving hands-on training in a variety of different fields, including air conditioning, electrical and plumbing.
Those enrolled in the course said the information learned in the classroom is vital to their everyday tasks.
"It allowed me to learn more details of a job that I have already been performing, and it really is an expansion of everything you want to know about facility maintenance," said student Samuel Ginnis.
Another student said he is excited to pass on his knowledge to others.
"I can take what I've learned in class and I can pass it on to the other technicians that work with me and really help our team grow to be faster and stronger in what we do everyday," said Audie Dunlap.
After months of hard work, the students are making progress.
"You can't just hire somebody that says they can do it and are not actually able," said instructor Billy Ford. "These guys have been through some of the training."
For the students, the completion of the first stage of the program means they are one step closer to certification.
Blinn College plans to continue the program in the fall.
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