“Before, students typically had to move to Corpus Christi, San Antonio or Houston to find jobs,” said industrial division chair Johnny Moreno. “I would say the majority would like to stay around this area.”
Moreno said there are a couple of existing companies that hire welders and drafters, but “somebody has to die to get one of those jobs,” he joked.
Moreno, who is originally from Karnes City, said he has seen oil rigs everywhere around his hometown.
“It’s fixin’ to boom,” he said.
The chair said his students are excited about using their skills locally.
“They’re young. They’re not ready to venture far,” Moreno said.
Upon completion of CBC’s welding and/or drafting classes, a graduate is ready for an entry level position in an oil company.
“There’s still a lot to be learned,” said Moreno. “They could do any type of structural welding.”
Bob Roberts, technology division chair, said drafting and blueprinting go hand in hand with welding skills.
“They have to be able to read the language,” Roberts said. “They have to relate what they’re working on to a drawing.”
Roberts continued to say that drafting jobs will become available as companies infiltrate the area as well.
“There will be jobs for everybody,” he said. “Civil jobs and piping jobs. I expect there will be more refineries and gas plants. Those will require draftsmen.”
Moreno’s and Roberts’ students are optimistic about the industry coming to Beeville.
Ruben Cuevas, a sophomore at CBC who hopes to be an independent rig welder, said he was very excited about the boom.
“I think it’s good for Beeville,” said Cuevas. “Lots of jobs will pop up. I’ll go wherever the work takes me.”
Sophomore David Salazar has already worked in the field, welding in a factory.
“I was going to leave,” Salazar said. “But since the industry’s showing up, I wouldn’t mind sticking around. It’s home.”
Similarly, sophomore Mark Salinas is planning to work on a pipeline after graduation.
“I think the industry is good,” Salinas said. “It will open up jobs for everybody.”
CBC also has a program specifically tailored to the oil and gas industry.
Roberts said most students in that program are already employed by oil companies. They take classes such as well completions, instrumentation and production methods.