Houston Community College Increases Job Placement

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For many schools and training providers, job placement is a key ingredient to the success of their programs. Houston Community College has been able to achieve an 85% placement rate for one of their Certificate programs.

Job placement for certified Network Cabling Specialists from Houston Community College’s C-Tech programs were at approximately 50-60% in mid-2001. This was not acceptable to HCC’s Max Saravia, Department Chair of Industrial Electronics, who used DOL/Texas Workforce Commission grants to hire Anna Fowler to improve the rate of job placement for C-Tech programs that produced approximately 200 certified technicians in the past year. Anna set herself a goal of 85% by June, the end of the academic year.

She reached that goal, and more, by the end of May. How did she do it? “A lot of hard work!” she says. She began by calling employers. In addition to inquiring about job availability, she invited potential employers to visit the HCC Network Cabling Specialist program two weeks before graduation, and some 20-30 employers have done so. “Once they come,” says Anna, “they come back.”

She also worked hard to establish trust and a connection to the Texas Workforce Commission’s database system for tracking. And it didn’t hurt to have a graduate like Jim Woods hiring more HCC graduates to build his business.

“I took the C-Tech CNCS course a little over a year ago,” states Anthony Stortz. “After earning my certifications, I began working for a broadband services contractor with Time-Warner Telecommunication (Cable) installing cable modems, HDTV converters, and home networks (wired and wireless). Well, this past week I was promoted to a management position after being with the company for just over a year. The person that I was up against had been with the company a little longer than I, so I was a bit surprised that I got the job. When I asked the Project Manager why I was chosen over the other candidate, he said that it was because I was certified in Copper and Fiber Optic networking.”

As Anna progressed, she began also to get calls from neighboring states (LA, OK, AR) as word spread among employers. Some wanted letters of recommendation, and others asked for background checks, and Anna learned how to respond in the students’ best interests.

Anna credits her success to a lot of hard work, but “A great personality doesn’t hurt,” adds Max. Her success at Houston Community College sets a great example for other Certified Training Facilities and placement specialists to follow.

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Ken Lowenstein
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