Texas Southmost College has launched a fast-track certification program for industrial scaffold builders that officials hope is a first step in the Rio Grande Valley’s transformation into a higher-wage economy.
Students who successfully complete the two-week, 80-hour Industrial Scaffolding Committee Basis Access Program will learn the skills and earn the industry credential necessary to enter the workforce at an average salary of $15 per hour, said Joseph H. Fleishman, TSC associate vice president of Instruction and Workforce Development.
Fleishman said there is a high and constant demand for scaffold builders in Texas and along the U.S. Gulf coast. He said the work is difficult and can be dangerous but pays well.
Certified entry level Basic Access Industrial Scaffold Builders earn on average $31,000 annually, according to information about the program on the TSC website. Students wishing to enroll in the program must pass a 12-panel drug screen.
The program costs $695, but TSC has discounted the cost for the initial class to $595, Fleishman said. Slots are still open. The classes will be from 10 to 16 students, and the goal is to offer the class every two weeks.