Emanuel Rendon was traveling across the state working at different construction sites, but when he came across the Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program at Texas Southmost College on Facebook, he realized this was the opportunity he had been waiting for.
“This was my chance to train for a specific trade,” said the 28-year-old. “I’m now working toward a secure, long-term career. This is exactly what I needed.”
TSC’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program was designed and implemented in collaboration with Schwickert’s Tecta America, a leading Midwest roofing and mechanical systems contractor with locations in Minnesota and Kansas, that hires 100% of the program’s graduates.
And much to Rendon’s surprise, who was ready to make the investment in his future, he was awarded a full scholarship for the program by the TSC Foundation.
“I could not believe the kind of investment TSC is making in giving students like me full scholarships,” said Rendon. “This has saved me hundreds of dollars and allowed me to come in strong to do what I have to do to succeed.”
Commercial roofing is an 80-hour, two-week program that gives students like Rendon hands-on experience that prepares them for entry-level roofer positions with Schwickert’s Tecta America.
Students learn skills in building, maintaining and repairing roofs by using a variety of industry-standard tools and materials.
For commercial roofing student Mercedes Ramirez, she is familiar with multiple tools and skills it takes to be a roofer because of her time in TSC’s Industrial Scaffolding program.
Also, from Los Fresnos, the 26-year-old graduated from the scaffolding class in 2020 and went on to work as a scaffolder, but in looking at what skills she could add to her tool belt, she found TSC’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program.
“I want to learn as much as I can and have skills that make me marketable out in the industry,” said Ramirez. “TSC’s training can get you to the next level because they don’t only provide programs that lead to jobs, but they lead to careers.”
Like Rendon, Ramirez was also awarded a full scholarship and said she is grateful to TSC for investing in her future.
“I appreciate TSC giving me the money to do something I enjoy,” she said. “And it’s hard to believe that once these two weeks are over, I’ll be on my way to a new career.”
Both Rendon and Ramirez are looking forward to their career opportunity with Schwickert’s Tecta America and plan on working in other states to begin their roofing careers.
“I’m going to be leaving my boy behind. It’ll be hard, but this opportunity is to give him a better life,” said Rendon. “I can’t wait to see where this all leads.”
As for Ramirez, “I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things,” she said. “And while leaving my family is always hard, I know that my success is their success, and this will help them lead better lives too.”
Once hired by Schwickert’s Tecta America, Rendon, Ramirez and their peers can expect a pay range between $18-20 an hour, a full benefits package and relocation assistance.
Both Rendon and Ramirez have the goal of growing with the roofing company, eventually completing the three-year apprentice program and working toward leadership positions.
For more information about TSC’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program or to register for the next class in April 2022, visit TSC’s Workforce and Continuing Education or call (956) 295-3724.