New Industrial Technology Center in Bowie will help college and high school students

BOWIE, TX (KAUZ) - Pavement was laid down last month at the new ITC building at North Central Texas College's Bowie Campus. The ITC will not only have courses that benefit their students but also Bowie High School students too.

ITC will offer welding, HVAC training (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), machining and oil and gas production for NCTC students and Bowie High junior and seniors.

Siah Read, 17, a Bowie High School junior will take the new welding classes starting August 28. The classes will take place at the high school until construction is finished in March 2018.

Read's father and uncle both work as welders. He said he wants to join them in the field.

"My first [year at the AG Building], coming here, first we worked on woodwork then I see them working on metal and I wanted to do it," Read said. "I just tried it."

With the new ITC, he said he is hoping that he can accomplish that goal. Bowie High School junior and senior students can take the college courses for dual credit.

"Almost immediately I asked about it," Read said. "I signed up for it."

"The program is designed so that students when they finish high school, are ready to go into the workforce," Bowie High School Principal Blake Enlow said.

Principal Enlow said if a student starts taking the courses their junior year then they can graduate needing only eight course credit hours before receiving an Occupational Skills Certificate.

NCTC Director of Strategic Partnerships Susan Cooper said college students could receive that certificate in one-semester by taking three courses.

She said the starting salary for an entry-level welder is $25 an hour. She said many of the welding course graduates are recruited by Titan Tanks, GE Locomotives, and Trinity Enterprises.

The college is already receiving requests for graduates from the new machinist program too.

ITC building was paid for by 4B Economic Development Foundation and the welding equipment was paid for using state grants. The new equipment sits in the Bowie High building and will be used in when classes start.

Read said he is ready to use them and cannot wait for school to start.

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