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TJC breaks ground on new energy center

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TYLER (KYTX) - Tyler Junior College is growing again.

And this time, it could mean more jobs and better pay for a lot of people.

The school already has an energy program.

But it's constructing a new energy center to prepare even more people for jobs in the energy industry.

It's not much as of yet, but the school broke ground on a new energy center Wednesday.

They're hoping this work-training center will allow more people to find great jobs here in East Texas, as well as attract more businesses.

Monica Alvarez is on the hunt for a better job.

"Moved basically to, wanted to go to school. look for a job, then go to school, but pretty much it's work," says Alvarez.

She moved to Tyler about a month ago, hoping to work and go to school, but her job in retail isn't enough.

"You have bills, you have needs and if you're, if you want to make enough to be able to not really worry," says Alvarez.

And educating that workforce - Tyler Junior College.

A brand new energy center will feature labs for air conditioning training, power plant technology and even alternative energy programs.

"They graduate into good paying jobs with the potential to earn over $100,000 with overtime, they pay very well," says Dr. Mike Metke.

Good jobs in a tough economy.

"With this kind of workforce it attracts other kinds of employers. a skilled workforce in Tyler, it brings in additional jobs and additional work," says Dr. Metke.

And with more workers ready to take on the jobs, Dr. Metke says it will help east Texas grow as a whole.

"People would be able to work and actually make enough to actually fit in school. I think it would help the economy all over," says Alvarez.

Dr. Metke says there's a shortage of workers for many of these jobs here, and expanding the skills training center will help bring in more students and help the program grow.

Beyond the high demand jobs in automated systems and other mechanical technicians, there will also be solar and wind technician degrees available.

The energy center is set to open in the fall of 2015.

The project is a joint effort between TJC, Smith County, the city of Tyler and the Tyler Economic Development Council.

 

 

 

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