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Free plumbing, trades industry courses available to Highland Lakes adults

Free trades job training in the Highland Lakes

Students from a 2019 plumbing class facilitated by Workforce Network Inc. pose with their certifications. This year, Highland Lakes adults can apply to participate in three different trade career programs, which will be free through a grant program funded by local EDCs and the Texas Workforce Commission. Photo by Gail Davalos

Recruiting for a free, employer-sponsored plumbing course is now underway in the Highland Lakes. The course begins May 11 and will span two semesters. Classes are 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays at the Hill Country Builders Association, 1401 Broadway in Marble Falls. 

The course will be taught by Master Plumbers James Forest, working with Complete Care, and Lucas Brandenburg of Brandenburg Plumbing. Coursework will count toward 1,000 hours of on-the-job credit required for licensure. 

Area adults can train to enter one of three different trade careers through a free program facilitated by Workforce Network Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to creating local job opportunities.  

Workforce Network focuses on growing the Texas workforce in trade industries. Since 2017, Director of Stakeholder Relations Gail Davalos has helped facilitate a grant program to provide free training for adult students. This year, the network is hosting plumbing, electrical, and certified medical assistant training courses in the Highland Lakes. 

“We want new people to enter into these fields because there’s a real high demand for these kinds of jobs,” Davalos said. 

Eligible applicants must be 18 years or older, agree to a background check, participate in face-to-face interviews with recruiters, and live in the Highland Lakes. They must also be motivated to begin a career in the field covered by the course. 

“We want to make sure this is someone who wants to work in plumbing as a career and not just someone who wants to learn how to maintain their own homes,” Davalos explained. 

In addition to providing firsthand experience, program facilitators also work to find employment opportunities for students, Davalos said. 

Funding comes from economic development corporations in Marble Falls, Burnet, and Llano, which invested a total of $43,890 from sales tax into the program. The Texas Workforce Commission matched their contributions with grant funding. 

Those interested in the program can begin the application process by calling 830-613-1240.