Lone Star College System is offering a new, free Drilling and Exploration Core Skills Program (DECS) at LSC-University Park that will train students to be a drilling rig floorhand in just 10 weeks.
The free, fast-track training is offered through the Lone Star Energy & Manufacturing Institute and interested applicants need to apply and be granted access. The program consists of eight classes for a total of 352 contact hours, and the next classes begin Nov. 11 and Nov 18.
There are 50 full scholarships available with priority given to veterans, eligible veterans’ spouses and eligible foster youth. A high school diploma or GED is not required to begin this certification, but all students must be legally authorized to work in the United States and must complete a workplace skills assessment. Male students between the ages of 18 and 26 must be registered with Selective Service as required by federal law.
“This program is the direct result of Mr. Joe Ed Bunton’s vision and persistence,” said Michael Burns, director of strategy and innovation for work force education and corporate partnerships. “He convinced me to pay attention to the work of the International Association of Drilling Contractors and the drilling industry’s future needs. Now Lone Star College is perfectly positioned to help this growth industry and provide high demand technical career training for our students.”
“Not having a fee to attend this training opens the door for many students who may not have had the resources to do so,” said Linda Head, associate vice chancellor of workforce education and corporate partnerships. “The Fast-Track DECS drilling program was created to also help meet the needs of the oil and gas industries to find and hire an educated and prepared workforce.”
The curriculum will cover basic principles of oil and gas, basic mechanical skills, introduction to rig maintenance, rig core floor skills and IADC WellCAP® introduction.
The program has already completed two sessions and two sessions are currently in process. More than 30 students have been placed with employers and have already started new careers in this growth industry. Former student Larry Cobb, who attended and completed the program earlier this year, said it was invaluable in helping him get full-time employment in a mud logging position with Empirica.
“After completing the program, I was able to find a job in no time,” said Cobb. “The training I received equipped me with the skills necessary to make me stand out from the other job applicants.”
The cost for this certification program, which is valued at $3,620, is free to qualified applicants — no cost to the students and books are included. The program is fully funded by the Wagner-Peyser grant awarded to the Lone Star College Office of Workforce Development in the spring of 2013.
Drilling support service jobs include floorhands for drilling rigs, drilling operation support personnel, electronic assembly in manufacturing and more.
In Texas, projections show that there will be an 18 percent increase in careers for drilling services support technician by 2018.
This program is part of the Lone Star College Energy & Manufacturing Institute, which teaches a combination of skills that prepare students to perform many different jobs in industries including oil and gas-field services and automated manufacturing.
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.