Florida will see an increase of 50,000 jobs over the next few years, jobs that require specific skills. That's where Hillsborough Community College is stepping up, with new classes starting in the fall.
Erin Wise has found her passion: "Turns out that I absolutely love welding."
Wise comes from a family of welders, her dad and brother, but she had never really considered it as a career for herself until she needed a way to support her 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. "My children are my life and I want to be able to give them the best lives possible," said Wise.
So, last September Wise signed up for a class at HCC's Workforce Training Center and in less than a year, she'll have a skill that will allow her to have a good paying job for life. "You're always going to have a job. There's always going to be people who want welders to do different things for welding," said Wise.
Ginger Clark, vice president of the Workforce Training Center, says, "It's truly a one-stop shop here at the Workforce Training Center."
Meaning, if you need a job, you could go there today and they can start teaching you a trade. And it's not just welding, but there are automotive classes and soon transportation. Courses cover topics such as diesel and alternative fuel systems, aviation/avionics and automated people mover/light rail.
"We have employers sitting right her with us telling us, 'Hey do this, do that, here are the competencies we need.' So they know our students are prepared they know they're ready to go to work on day one."
And this training doesn't just benefit one person, it actually affects the entire community because more skilled workers, means more companies are likely to bring more jobs to our area.