Commercial roofing scholarship makes career goals a reality
Texas Border Business
BROWNSVILLE, TX – Emanuel Rendon traveled across the state working on various construction sites, but when he came across Texas Southmost College’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program on Facebook, he realized this was the opportunity he’d been waiting for.
“This was my chance to train for a specific profession,” said the 28-year-old. “I am now working on a secure, long-term career. This is exactly what I needed.”
TSC’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program was designed and implemented in conjunction with Schwickert’s Tecta America, a leading Midwestern roofing and mechanical systems contractor with locations in Minnesota and Kansas, which employs 100% of the program’s graduates.
And much to the surprise of Rendon, who was willing to make the investment in his future, the TSC Foundation awarded him a full grant for the program.
“I couldn’t believe what kind of investment TSC is making to give students like me full scholarships,” Rendon said. “This has saved me hundreds of dollars and allowed me to be strong to do what I need to do to succeed.”
Commercial Roofing is a two-week 80-hour program that gives students like Rendon hands-on experience that prepares them for entry-level roofing positions at Schwickert’s Tecta America.
Students learn skills in building, maintaining, and repairing roofs using a variety of industry-standard tools and materials.
For commercial roofing student Mercedes Ramirez, she is familiar with multiple tools and skills required to be a roofer due to her time in TSC’s Industrial Scaffolding program.
Also, from Los Fresnos, the 26-year-old graduated from scaffolding class in 2020 and started working as a scaffold builder, but looking at what skills to add to her tool belt, she found TSC’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice program.
“I want to learn as much as I can and have skills that will make me marketable in the industry,” Ramirez said. “TSC’s training can take you to the next level because they not only offer programs that lead to jobs, but they also lead to careers.”
Like Rendon, Ramirez also received a full scholarship and said she is grateful to TSC for investing in her future.
“I appreciate TSC giving me the money to do something I enjoy,” she said. “And it’s hard to believe that when these two weeks are over, I’ll be on my way to a new career.”
Both Rendon and Ramirez are looking forward to their career opportunity at Schwickert’s Tecta America and plan to work in other states to begin their roofing careers.
‘I’m going to leave my boy behind. It will be difficult, but this chance is to give him a better life,” Rendon said. “I can’t wait to see where this all leads.”
As for Ramirez, “I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things,” she said. “And while it is always hard to leave my family, I know that my success is their success, and this will also help them live a better life.”
Once hired by Schwickert’s Tecta America, Rendon, Ramirez and their colleagues can expect a salary between $18-20 an hour, a full benefits package and help with relocation.
Both Rendon and Ramirez aim to grow with the roofing business, eventually completing the three-year apprenticeship program and progressing to leadership positions.
To learn more about TSC’s Commercial Roofing Pre-Apprentice Program or to register for the next class in April 2022, visit tsc.edu/wtce or call (956) 295-3724.