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Midland College Program Puts Students On Fast Track To High Paying Jobs

Midland College is hoping to give students participating in their diesel technology program a leg up on the competition for those that complete their two year associates program.
MIDLAND -- Many people are flocking to the Permian Basin with the hope of securing jobs in the oil and gas industry.  Midland College is hoping to give students participating in their diesel technology program a leg up on the competition for those that complete their two year associates program.
 
"I like to know how things work, like, fix things that other people don't know how to fix," Caleb Bean said.  Bean is in his first semester in the program.
 
Caleb Bean and many of his fellow classmates like to take things apart and put them back together again...
 
Which is why they say Midland College's diesel tech program is the right environment for them to catapult themselves into a career in the oil and gas industry.
 
"We set the basic fundamentals for these students to be able to go into the field and just develop the skills that they've gained here at Midland College," Pete Avalos said.  Avalos is in the department chair for the auto and diesel programs at Midland College.
 
About 60 percent of the diesel tech program involves hands on work, which is one of these students favorite things about the program.
 
"Actually being able to get into it, seeing how everything works, components, how everything works on it," Jacob Lugo said.  Lugo is also in his first semester in the diesel tech program.
 
Juan Estrello agrees.
 
"It's better than just doing book work," Estrello said.
 
Avalos briefly explained what students go through in the four semester associates degree program.
 
"What it entails is basically just an overview of theory and hands on application on working on all types of equipment, diesel related, you know, oil field, on the road trucks," Avalos said.
 
After these students graduate, they'll have the opportunity to work for some of the biggest names in the business.
 
"Most of our employers are oil operating companies," Tracy Gandy said.  Gandy is the director of energy technology for Midland College.  "They are like your Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Concho.  They come in and they hire these guys with two year degrees.  They go out there and they make really good money,"
 
Of course the money the oilfield offers is a big reason why many of these students are in the program.
 
Midland College is bringing in students from all over the state...
 
Students like Caleb Bean, who comes from Lamesa, but is content to stay in the Midland area after he graduates, as long as the oil wells don't dry up.
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