HOUSTON-- Hurricane Harvey made a lasting impression on the bayou city, no question. By now, we're pretty familiar with the saying, "rebuild houston."
It's something everybody wants, but not everybody knows how.
"Since the hurricane hit, the HVAC and electricians are gonna be a lot in demand because a lot of people got hit by the storm," said Jonan Navarro, a student at Lone Star College.
Rebuilding anything, especially an entire city, really does require hands-on, skilled labor. We're talkin` HVAC, electricians, sheet rocking, drywall, flooring, roofing, pipe-fitting. That's where Lone Star college comes into frame.
"While we had financial aid before and funding, now we have a lot more funding," said Michael Burns, dean of career and applied technology. Enrollment has increased exponentially at Lone Star and the reason seems pretty obvious. Harvey!
These are workforce programs so they're a direct result of employers hiring our students," adds Burns.
Lone Star is working with the Texas Workforce Commission to see to it we have trained technicians to get the job done.
"You have this equipment right here which is a lot of hands-on stuff," said Navarro. "And you get to physically see what you're doing and you're not just tied to a chair looking at a screen watching other people do it but you actually get to do it yourself."
"Anybody that wants to come in and work in one of these trades, we can now fund their education," said Burns. "We can fund their supplies. We can fund their work shirts. Everything they need to be successful in training and then get a job."
Lone Star will open its new 55,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility at the end of the month. For current students, many of whom were directly affected by the hurricane, this is a win-win situation.
"I like it because they gave me an opportunity," said Eric Arjon. "They gave me a chance to better myself."