Apprentices “earn while they learn” at HCC

By Steve Lestarjette Doug Posey, who enjoyed a career as a pipefitter, mechanical engineer, and successful company owner, came out of a short-lived retirement to do something he has learned to love: connect hard-working individuals to careers in the construction trades. Today he is the Director of Apprenticeship programs for HCC, helping find and prepare workers in eight disciplines:...

VAST Academy improves the life quality for students with a variety of abilities

By Steve Lestarjette HCC has an acclaimed program that helps nearly 200 individuals a year with intellectual and developmental disabilities find meaningful employment and independence. The VAST Academy, acronym for Vocational Advancement and Skills Training, provides post-secondary transition programs and comprehensive support services which lead to meaningful credentials, employment...

A homeless vet finds new life “on the road,” thanks to HCC truck driving program

By Steve Lestarjette Kenneth Wilson is 59 years old, and has an amazing story to tell. In his long journey, he has served a tour in the Navy and been a “big-rig” truck driver. Then things got hard. At age 16, he began a long-term relationship with alcohol, which left him addicted and, eventually, homeless. He made his way from east Texas to Houston, and “survived” by...
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Passion for public service is rewarded with steady, well-paying jobs

By Steve Lestarjette There is a direct correlation between HCC’s Public Safety programs and stable, well-paying jobs. Records show that nearly every student that successfully completes the college’s highly regarded Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Technology and Robert Garner Fire Academy, or Law Enforcement/Police Academy programs has found work in the profession of...

VAST Academy Heroes

VAST Academy students are successful outside the classroom, too! Here’s a short list of accomplishments from the Academy’s 2016 graduating class: Aryn Romera serves as secretary of the VAST Academy Eagles Club. She is described by program faculty as being “a role model example of a community college student: academics, service, and and an active member of society.” Christina...

VAST Academy Community Partners

These are among a growing list of companies and organizations that provide internships and employment to Academy students and graduates. Arena Energy Hilton Laredo Energy MD Anderson Phoenicia Deli Rise School Shriners Spring Branch Independent School District TIRR Texas Children’s Hospital...

Why take online classes from HCC?

By Steve Lestarjette Todd Bermont is an author, public speaker, and successful business owner. As the founder of TCC Learning LLC in League City, he has been interviewed by CNN, ABC, CBS and Fox News as a “content expert” on a subject of his passion—helping people navigate the complicated job search process to find the careers they really want. Still, with so much going on in...

ESL class helps Dynamo star thrive in a new hometown

By Steve Lestarjette Agustín Garcia Íñiguez, 31, is experiencing a severe case of “culture immersion.” He is a star defender for the Houston Dynamo, recruited this season from Madrid, Spain. While performing with excellence on the field, Agus faces challenges off it. Imagine resettling in a new community—a new country—and not speaking the language. To make...
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HCC made this dream come true

By Steve Lestarjette Haidar Altaiar came to the United States in 2008 as a refugee from Iraq. He took English classes at HCC to get better acclimated to life in a new country, then enrolled in A+, and earned his first certificate as a computer technician. “I stated working as computer technician, then decided to move on to bigger things,” Haidar says. “I took at step into a...

Microsoft 2012 certification helps computer technicians advance to administrators

By Steve Lestarjette The HCC Windows Server 2012 certification is an affordable, fast-track program created to help technical support technicians advance to computer systems administrators. Earning Microsoft Solution Associate (MCSA: Windows Server 2012) certification qualifies a person as a network or computer systems administrator or a computer support specialist. The credential...

Front-line supervisors utilize an important skill set

By Steve Lestarjette Every industry has them: squads and squad leaders; teams and team leaders; workers, and the supervisors who oversee and evaluate their work. In many cases, workers “step up” from the ranks to lead individuals they once worked with alongside. So, though job specifics vary from industry to industry and company to company, there are basic skills and abilities...
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Partnership with HCC helps students find jobs

By Steve Lestarjette With as many as 7,000 jobs needing to be filled by the end of 2016, Houston area industrial scaffolding companies approached Houston Community College with a critical request: Create a new program quickly to help train prospective workers. Those companies, including Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services, Brock Group, Excel Modular Scaffold (EMS), and Safeway Group,...

10 Careers for the Next 10 Years: Booming middle skill jobs

PROGRAM 10 Careers for the Next 10 Years Booming middle skill jobs What are “middle skill” jobs? These are occupations that need workers who have more than a high-school diploma, but less than a four-year degree. While the educational training time involved is less than for many skilled fields, middle skill careers can net far more than “middle wages,” and all of these fields are...

Measuring the “Intangibles” of A College Education

Measuring the “Intangibles” of A College Education By Naomi Sheehan “The value of a college education is often presented in purely monetary terms, probably because On average, Americans with bachelor’s degrees earn $32,000 more a year than high school graduates who’ve never been to college. That’s a 134 percent difference. Lifetime earnings are upwards of $625,000 more! As...

Not-So-Typical: Today’s college students break stereotypes

INSIDE FRONT COVER Not-So-Typical Today’s college students break stereotypes If you think that most college students are fresh out of high school, young, carefree, and living at a university, you’re wrong. In fact, 85 percent of college students today don’t fit that mold. More often, the typical college student is living off campus, working full or part time, and juggling college...

Are you ready? Upgrade your job skills

BACK COVER Are you ready? Upgrade your job skills at Houston  Community College. We have what you need: • Programs in fields experiencing job growth • Classes days, evenings and online • Off-campus learning center locations • Faculty who care about your goals • Tuition less than half what you’d pay at a public university Register Now! 713.718.5303 hccs.edu/ce...

Accelerated Teacher Certification Program helps student meet personal goals

By Steve Lestarjette & Simone Williams Kimberly Guzman was ready for a professional change. She had her music therapy degree in hand and began searching for the perfect Accelerated Teacher Certification (ATCP) program to aid her on a quest to financial stability and professional success. “I found out about the Gulf Coast Community Service Association (GCCSA) grant for low income...

Wanted: Women for well-paying jobs in the manufacturing industry

By Steve Lestarjette & Simone Small The manufacturing industry is booming in Houston, and that’s causing a shortage of qualified workers. According to the Manufacturing Institute, the reason for the shortfall is a lack of women in the manufacturing labor force. Women make up roughly half of the labor force, but only 24% of the manufacturing industry. HCC is working to change those...
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Not So Typical

Not So Typical Today’s college students break stereotypes If you think that most college students are fresh out of high school, young, carefree and living at a university, you’re way behind the times. Eighty-five percent of college students today don’t fit that mold. More often, the typical college student is living off-campus, working and juggling college with real-life...

Maximize the Middle: Take a Shorter Path to a Good Job

Maximize the Middle Take a shorter path to a good job [1] What is a Middle Job? Middle Skills (more than high school, less than bachelor’s degree) + Middle Class Income (over $35,000 a year) [2] Half of all Jobs paying middle-class wages are middle jobs. [3] Where Are the Middle Jobs?* Blue collar – 32% Office, managerial and professional – 25% Sales and office support –...