(Texas City)— For Vanessa Webb, academics came easily and pursuing a four-year degree was a natural choice. It was only after getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in criminal justice that she considered construction trades as a career option.
Now, she’s enrolled at College of the Mainland, training to be a pipefitter.
Webb is following in the steps of her grandfather, who was a pipefitter and taught her early to work with her hands.
“I really enjoy it,” she said. “It’s one of those things that clicked. I wish that I had done it beforehand. It’s not that I regret having a degree, but I wish that I had done this originally.”
“I feel like it’s better to be doing something not only that I enjoy but where I can see my work.”
Webb lives in Santa Fe, so College of the Mainland was a logical choice of where to train – but proximity wasn’t the only attraction the college offered.
The fact that COM trains for National Center for Construction Education and Research certification was a big selling point. “At the time I started looking, I didn’t see any other NCCER programs,” Webb said. “I’ve noticed a lot of jobs around here lately are asking for NCCER certification.”
Even with certification, Webb said she expects to start as a helper. “I’m not going to immediately be a pipefitter. But what this class does is gives you the experience where you might start as a helper, but you’re going to move up quickly, because you’re going to know all this information; you’re going to know how to use these tools, and what they’re talking about, and how to read a drawing and do the math on a drawing.”
One of the challenges to returning to school was that financial aid was more difficult to find since Webb already had a degree. There, too, College of the Mainland helped by connecting her with grants and scholarships that cover the costs of the program.
Webb said she has already encouraged a co-worker to look in to the College of the Mainland program. “Find your niche. It took a while, but that’s what I did.”
Contact: Mark Fleming
Writer, Marketing & Public Affairs
Jan. 12, 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org 713-295-1824