More skilled professionals should hit the Central Texas job market thanks to a new partnership.
Round Rock ISD has partnered with Austin Community College (ACC) and the Round Rock Chamber to start an HVAC and plumbing career training program at Round Rock High School (RRHS).
The organizations signed a memorandum of understanding for the program, which will begin this summer in the back of the RRHS 500 building. The program was created to meet the demands for individuals trained in HVAC and plumbing in the Central Texas community. Courses will be held for free to District students and employees.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our community and students in Round Rock,” said Mandy Estes, RRISD chief of teaching and learning. “We’re all in this together. Industry and public education working together to build a sustainable and educated workforce to support a high quality of life.”
RRISD will supply the building, assist in student and employee recruitment for the program and supply maintenance and facility upgrades as part of the agreement. ACC’s Continuing Education Workforce Development Department will provide college-level instructors, curriculum and training for the program, which will also be open for evening community classes to adults. ACC will also enhance the facility for the needs of the program. The Round Rock Chamber will assist both RRISD and ACC with internship placement, recruitment for the program and serve as a liaison with city officials regarding permit processes.
All Round Rock ISD high school students will have access to the program.
“Over the last five years, we have heard so many times that HVAC and plumbing are two areas that have significant employment needs because our community is growing,” said Amy Mizcles, Round Rock Chamber vice president of community enhancement. “We want to make sure unemployed and underemployed students can learn these trades and be connected with businesses in the local community to have internships, but also jobs to be part of the workforce.”
The three partners will begin recruitment in the coming weeks to fill the first classes of students, both at the high school and adult levels. RRISD has future plans to transition the HVAC and plumbing program to its potential Career Tech High School, contingent on the passage of Proposition 2 in the May 6 Bond Election.
“What’s awesome about students getting this opportunity is that they get to work with masters in their particular industry,” said Shasta Buchanan, ACC executive director of school relations. “Having that hands-on experience right now in high school will help them be ready for a prosperous life and career.”