POSTED: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 6:56pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 7:05pm
Tyler (KETK) — East Texas is leading the way in meeting the growing demand for energy workers in our state.
The first ever Luminant Energy 'Power Track' class will graduate from Tyler Junior College this week.
Fabian Trujillo is in the first class of 22 students in Power Track.
"I feel great like $1 million," Trujillo said. "It's just a wonderful feeling."
"There is a great need in our state for skilled energy workers, and Power Track has become one of the great solutions to try and get this great need met," said Brad Watson, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Luminant.
It started a few years ago, offering students full scholarships toward an Associate's Degree in Power Plant Technology.
"It's the first degree offered in the state of Texas of such kind," said Dr. Dirk Hughes, Luminant Academy Director.
With it, also comes a paid internship and a shot at working for the largest power generator in the state when they're done.
"They have a chance for a good paying job with good benefits," said Mac McFarland, Luminant CEO. "It's a win for the Texas economy."
The students are trained at Luminant Academy right on TJC's West campus.
"We're attracting kids that live around our power plants and mines," said Dr. Hughes.
The program is leading the way for other campuses across Texas who are following suit.
"A four-year university isn't for everybody," said TJC President Dr. Mike Metke. "These are great choices. They don't end up with a pile of debt, they are not graduating with huge student loans, and stepping into great jobs."
This program is starting up in three other college campuses across the state.
This summer, 19 of those 22 TJC Power Track graduates will begin their energy careers at one of Luminant's power plants.