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'Hiring our students': Partnership program between Nederland ISD, Bechtel preparing students for careers in industry

The two-semester program will give students a certificate in Level 1 Pipefitting.

NEDERLAND, Texas — A partnership between the Nederland Independent School District and a company is set to provide students with great opportunities as soon as they walk the stage.

District officials feel companies, such as Bechtel, are taking notice of the talent at the Career and Technical Education Center in Nederland. On Monday night, Nederland ISD board members voted ‘yes’ to a partnership program between the district and Bechtel.

"They approached our CTE program and asked us if we would implement a pipefitters class,” Nederland ISD Superintendent Dr. Stuart Kieshnick said.

The program will teach students how to become pipefitters. Students will then be able to apply for jobs at Bechtel right out of high school.

"LNG is opening a plant, and they believe construction will be over the next four or five years," Bryan Spell, program instructor, said. 

Bechtel is looking to recruit for the project, which is why Dr. Kieshnick believes they approached him.

“They will be needing pipefitters to work on their project,” Dr. Kieshnick said. “They offered to supply the tools, supply the equipment and the curriculum with the goal of hiring our students at Bechtel as pipefitters."

Dr. Kieshnick and Spell feel the program is a huge deal for their students. Spell said students who are already enrolled in welding courses and nearing their senior year are prime candidates for it.

"There will be prerequisites," Spell said. "Principles of Construction, Intro to Welding, Pipefitter 1 with a lab, and Pipefitter 2 with a lab."

Paul Bower is a welding instructor. He is looking forward to and believes the program will open doors for his students.

"I was really excited telling them that it's a lot of benefit for the kids," Bower said. "Gives them the real-world experience to go weld and pipe fit in the real world. I was just really excited for that."

The program is expected to be offered during the 2023-24 school year's fall semester. Bechtel said the two-semester program will give students a certificate in Level 1 Pipefitting.

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