Florida Technical College’s New American Force Trade Programs will fill in-demand jobs in plumbing, welding, electricity and construction.
April, 2016 By: Eleven Communications Construction is currently one of the fastest growing workforces in Florida and across the nation, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor… Graduates of Florida Technical College’s New American Force Trade Programs will fill in-demand jobs in plumbing, welding, electricity and construction. Students will receive classroom instruction as well as on-the-job training with apprenticeship programs that will provide a gateway to higher paying jobs and future advancement in the construction industry. Construction is currently one of the fastest growing workforces in Florida and across the nation, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. “We’ve come out of the recession and now commercial and residential construction are making a strong coming back,” said David Ruggieri, president and CEO of Florida Technical College. “These Construction Trade Programs will open up new opportunities for people to get in the door, get licensed and advance within these high-demand fields.” Ruggieri said the college researched the local trade industry, incomes and job placements and found there were many construction opportunities that were going unfilled. He said the new programs would be a boon for students looking for a fulfilling career and employers who need skilled workers to fill jobs. Construction Trade grads can immediately fill openings for builders, inspectors, plumbing or electrician assistants or assistants to engineers and architects. Local employers are thrilled about the New American Force Programs. “Employers are very excited because it gives them well-trained professionals who can start work immediately after graduation,” Ruggieri said. “They don’t have to hire sight unseen because employers get to see the student’s work ethic during the apprenticeships. Also, students will already have security clearance on job sites so they can begin work right away.” Initially, classes will be offered at the Kissimmee campus and the program will eventually be expanded to FTC’s Deland and Lakeland campuses. The 12-month programs will be added to the 18 short programs FTC currently offers. The short, condensed nature of the classes is ideal for students who want to get trained in a new profession and quickly find employment. Gabe Garces, executive director of FTC’s Kissimmee campus, said the program is a perfect fit for the current economy. “Construction trades are in demand,” Garces said. “There are not enough trained professionals in the industry and there are not enough people going into the industry. Our graduates will help fill that void.” FTC currently places eight out of ten of their graduates and those rates are expected to be equal or greater for graduates of the construction trades programs. The Kissimmee campus was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, multiple times, for “engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.” Only 513 schools, colleges and universities have been named to the Honor Roll, based on volunteer hours. FTC had more than 50,000 hours last year. The new trade programs are another dynamic example of how FTC has evolved over the years to meet the needs of students and the job marketplace. Students can apply for scholarships, federal financial aid or grants to help pay for the classes. The Plumbing Diploma Program gives students the technical and practical knowledge to make installations, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of plumbing systems in residential and commercial settings. Graduates will be able to fill positions as a plumbing helper in residential and construction firms. The Electrical Diploma program prepares the student with the technical skills and practical knowledge and skills to perform installations, service and repairs in the electrical trade. Graduates will fill positions as an electrician helper in residential and construction firms in the electrical trade industry. The Welding Diploma Program offers the technical and practical knowledge needed to interpret manufacturing drawings and construction blueprints, calculate measures, as well as bend, cut, grind and weld ferrous and nonferrous metals. Students will learn Shield Metal Arc, Gas-Metal Arc, Flux Core Arc, Gas-Tungsten Arc and pipe welding. The Welding program is classroom based, with a combination of lecture and lab. The program will prepare a student for entry-level employment in the field of welding. Graduates from this program will be able to fill positions as an electrician helper in residential and construction firms in the electrical trade industry. Graduates of the construction trade programs will receive accreditation from the National Center for Construction Education and Research, which is the industry’s gold standard. The credentials ensure students receive quality training based on uniform construction standards and criteria. Students that graduate with the Construction Trade Certificate can be employed as builders, inspectors and assistants to engineers and architects. Florida Technical College was founded in 1982 to provide post-secondary training in specialized business fields. Today, FTC offers Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate Degrees and Diploma Programs in today’s fastest growing occupations across a spectrum of fields. FTC students receive the new iPad with e-books instead of textbooks, which allow FTC students to tackle coursework anywhere, anytime.