August 4, 2017
Alamo Colleges Trains Vets for Solar Energy Jobs
At a graduation ceremony recenlty, 14 active duty military service members who are transitioning to the civilian workforce were awarded certificates for completing the Alamo Colleges District’s Solar Ready Vets program, a partnership between the Alamo Colleges and the U.S. Department of Education. The graduates received training in solar photovoltaics and grid-interactive installation and are now qualified to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) associate exam and to apply for apprentice licenses.
The graduates are currently interviewing with local companies for employment. Jobs in the solar energy field pay from $14 to $17 per hour at the entry level and up to the high $20’s annually with experience. Instruction for the students was provided by Alamo Colleges District – St. Philip’s College Southwest Campus instructor Daniel Sherry. Students for the program are recruited through Joint Base San Antonio.
“We are proud to be a part of this effort to enable those who have served in our military to acquire the skills they need to be successful in civilian life,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. “The success of programs such as this strengthen the Alamo Colleges District’s position as the leading educational institution preparing the workforce needed to keep local employers competitive and the local economy strong,” he added.
Chase Donates $100,000 for I-BEST
Chase, one of the largest employers in San Antonio with 5,000 local workers, has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Alamo Colleges District to develop a career pathway model and accompanying curriculum for the District’s award-winning I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) program. The grant will allow the I-BEST program to build structured career pathways that align with three of the District’s AlamoINSTITUTES: manufacturing; health/certified nursing assistant to medical assisting; and information technology.
The grant also will fund contextualized curriculum which makes essential skills such as reading, writing and math relevant to students’ career pathways. For example, in reading, an instructor might include books or articles related to the medical field rather than traditional literature. This helps the students stay focused while improving their essential skills in order to be successful in the coursework.
I-BEST provides a customized, fast-track approach to learning that allows adults with low levels of education and skills to increase their skills quickly and increase their earnings. I-BEST is a proven model that addresses adult workforce education needs though contextualized learning, concurrent instruction and pathways for attainment of academic and workforce credentials. I-BEST students enroll in career and technology education certificate programs while receiving the adult basic education training they need to succeed in their coursework and careers. The I BEST combined three-year completion rate is 89% and the job placement rate for graduates is 72%.
International Students Complete Entrepreneurship Program
At a ceremony recently, ten students newly arrived in the U.S. were presented certificates for completing an Entrepreneurship Program offered by the Alamo Colleges District in partnership with Catholic Charities.This is the first coursework the students, from Central and South America, have completed at an American college. In addition to entrepreneurship, the students received instruction in English as a Second Language, citizenship and U.S. laws. The program is the first step for these students, who hope to achieve the American dream of owning their own business.
Alamo Colleges District Continuing Education Instructor Tony Talamantez, who taught the students, presented them with their certificates. Among the graduates is Rosa Escobedo, already the owner of Haircuts by Rosa, who enrolled in the program to increase her clientele and understand American laws. Many of the students are also studying to become U.S. citizens. The students’ small business plans range from snow cone trucks to flower shops and more. The students were recruited by Catholic Charities who approached the Alamo Colleges District about offering the program for their English Language Learners. The course was hosted in the Catholic Charities facility and and funded by a federal grant through the Alamo Colleges District’s I-BEST initiative.
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