"When we presented the idea to the stearing committee for the local Petroleum Professional Development Center in downtown Midland, there were 17 different companies present and we walked out of the room with over $5,000 worth of scholarships already on the table," says Midland College's Gavin Frantz, Dean of Business Studies.
After about a year of developing the curriculm, Midland College was ready to offer an education in energy technology for the first time. Classes started last fall, and students have already taken a huge interest. "We started our first year, our courses are all full," says Frantz. "We have people on a waiting list to get into them."
The program isn't limited to students going to Midland College. Juniors and Seniors at Midland ISD and Fort Stockton ISD, can get a head start on the program while still in high school. Unlike college students, thanks to the help of some local businesses, it won't cost them a dime.
" Education is a primary focus for us, so we're always making donations around that," says Delores Vick, Chevron. "But this one has special interest for us because we want to be able to recruit and hire people from this area." And a laundry list of other companies that have contributed to the program agree.
As for those taking part in the program, students will learn the fundamentals of the energy industry during the first two semesters. After that, they can narrow their focus to wind or petroleum.
"An adult can go through four semesters of study with in two years,and gain an associates degree of Applied Science in Energy Technology," says Frantz. Graduates will be qualified to take on a number of different positions with pay ranging from $14 to $22 per hour.
For a complete list of businesses that have contributed to the program, click on video.
For more information on MC's Energy Technology Program, visit their website http://midland.edu