District offers trade job certification program

Rachel Boone, Reporter

Round Rock ISD will partner with Austin Community College and the Round Rock Chamber to offer a training program to allow students to gain certification for jobs in plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning before they graduate high school. District employees and community members will also be eligible to enroll in the program.
According to the district, the classes will be held in a building on the Round Rock High School campus that is not being used. ACC will provide instructors and equipment, and the Round Rock Chamber is currently working to gain money for improvements to the building.
In addition to the job training being offered, student internships will be provided by the Chamber of Commerce so they can begin working quickly after they finish school.
The certification program serves as a viable option for students who may not be considering attending college, as it will save time and money and provide students with work experience before graduation. The program will also open them up to careers that do not require a college degree in order to expand their options after high school.
“This is a stepping stone for [students] to get a really good job and then continue their education in trade,” counselor Kasey Misner said. “I feel like that’s a better bridge than them going to ACC for general classes without a purpose or to a four-year college.
District spokesman Corey Ryan said that the program will help address needs as the demands for work in plumbing in HVAC continue to increase, so the district felt it necessary to provide jobs for students that will meet the needs of the community.
“If we have those certification programs here, it would have a huge financial impact on the kids,” Misner said. “It would also start their path of making money immediately after graduating high school.”