TCC Fire Academy Hosts Grapevine Fire Department for Special Appreciation Event

Donation of ladder truck enhances training as Academy accepts applications for fall class
 
sideview one of firetruckFORT WORTH, Texas (April 18, 2017) – The Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center will host leaders from the City of Grapevine on Wednesday, April 19, to express gratitude for the city’s recent donation of an aerial apparatus truck to the College’s training program.
 
The ladder truck—a 1999 E-ONE 75-foot Quint—passed its serviceable life with the City of Grapevine. Used trucks often go to auction, but Grapevine Fire Department Chief Darrell Brown proposed giving the vehicle to the Fire Service Training Center, located on Northwest Campus. The Grapevine City Council unanimously approved the donation.
 
During a special appreciation luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m., the College will conduct tours of its Fire Service Training Center and display the ladder truck. In addition to Chief Brown, dignitaries in attendance will include City Council members Paul Slechta, Michael Lease, Chris Coy and Duff O’Dell, City Manager Bruno Rumbelow, Assistant City Manager Jennifer Hibbs, Assistant Chief Stuart Grant and Assistant Chief John Sherwood.
 
“The generosity of the City of Grapevine will have a real impact on the next generation of firefighters,” said Steve Keller, director of TCC’s Fire Service Training Center. “This allows us to hold multiple truck courses simultaneously and give students even more experience in real-world situations. They will enter the workforce even more prepared to serve their communities.”
 
The donated vehicle is worth approximately $140,000. It becomes TCC’s second ladder truck and third fire truck overall. Prior to use by students, the truck was refurbished and underwent inspection and certification of the ladder.
 
The Grapevine Fire Department has had a long, successful partnership with TCC. In the 1970s, many Grapevine firefighters studied under Jim Nichols, who pioneered TCC’s fire service education program. When the Grapevine Fire Department launched the use of Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances the following decade, more than 40 firefighters obtained paramedic certification through the College.
 
Since the 1990s, TCC has worked with the Grapevine Fire Department to provide professional development classes in hazardous materials, specialized rescues and other topics. Many past and present leaders of the department, including Deputy Chief Mark Ashmead, are TCC alumni.
 

TCC is the area’s primary trainer for firefighters and other first responders. Fire Service Training Center courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skills training. Facility features include a simulated city for live firefighting—with streets, residences, businesses, an apartment-hotel complex and high-rise buildings—along with a swift-water rescue site, trench rescue training area, confined-space rescue maze and simulated train derailment with hazardous materials scenario.
 
Tarrant County College holds three 14-week cadet classes each year, and the Fire Academy is certified with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which makes graduates eligible to take the state certification exam for basic firefighting. TCC consistently has a pass rate of or near 100 percent.
 
The deadline to submit an application for the Fire Academy’s fall 2017 cadet class is Thursday, July 27. Veterans are encouraged to apply. In addition to the Fire Academy, the Fire Service Training Center offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and continuing education for professional and volunteer firefighters.
 
EDITOR’S NOTE: Media interested in touring the Fire Service Training Center or conducting interviews should call 817-515-1542 by Wednesday at 10 a.m.
 

Fire Truck Donation Enhances Firefighter Training at Tarrant County College

FIREHOUSE recently shared a post detailing how the city of Grapevine’s generosity is enhancing the training of cadets at the Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center.
Read the post to learn more about the 75-foot ladder truck donation.

FIREHOUSE post

TCC Northeast Campus to Host Screenings of Tickling Giants

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 5, 2017)
 
WHAT:
Tarrant County College Northeast Campus and TCC’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will host a special screening of Tickling Giants, a film based on the true story of Bassem Youseff (aka “The Egyptian Jon Stewart”) and how his use of humor to address oppression by the Egyptian government resulted in personal and professional hardship during the Arab Spring. The film serves as a cautionary tale about what can happen when leaders go unchecked.
 
Following each of the three screenings, representatives from TCC’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and its Government department will lead discussions about how to differentiate between what is oppressive versus what is merely offensive, and how individuals can raise their voices individually or collectively to effect positive change.
 
According to Andrew Duffield, TCC’s director of institutional diversity and inclusion, “Our goal is to inspire dialogue about free speech, how we treat people with different beliefs and what happens when power is abused, so that we can help people find their own creative, non-violent ways to be heard.”
 
This free event is open to the public. Those interested in attending must reserve their tickets at: TCCTicklingGiants.eventbrite.com
 
WHEN:
Thursday, April 20
1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
 
WHERE:
TCC Northeast Campus
Larry Darlage Center Corner
828 W. Harwood Road
Hurst, TX 76054
 

City of Grapevine Donates 75-Foot Ladder Truck to Tarrant County College Fire Academy

Donation enhances training as Academy accepts applications for summer class

sideview one of firetruckFORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2017) – The City of Grapevine is enhancing the training of cadets in Tarrant County College’s Fire Service Training Centerdonating an aerial apparatus truck for use in live firefighting, simulated rescues and physical exercises.
 
The fire truck—a 1999 E-ONE 75-foot Quint—passed its serviceable life with the City of Grapevine. Used trucks often go to auction, but Grapevine Fire Department Chief Darrell Brown proposed giving the vehicle to the Fire Service Training Center, located on Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus. The City Council unanimously approved the donation.
 
“Thanks to the City of Grapevine and Chief Brown, we can continue growing our program to meet the needs of the community,” said Steve Keller, director of TCC’s Fire Service Training Center. “This truck is a game-changer for us. We will be able to simultaneously run multiple courses that involve truck operations, and students will have more opportunities to gain experience on this critical piece of firefighting equipment.”
 
The Grapevine Fire Department has had a long, successful partnership with Tarrant County CollegeIn the 1970s, many Grapevine firefighters studied under Jim Nichols, who pioneered TCC’s fire service education program. When the Grapevine Fire Department launched the use of Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances the following decade, more than 40 firefighters obtained paramedic certification through the College.
 
Since the 1990s, TCC has worked with the Grapevine Fire Department to provide professional development classes in hazardous materials, specialized rescues and other topics. Many past and present leaders of the department, including Deputy Chief Mark Ashmead, are TCC alumni.
 
“My hope is that other fire departments will think of Tarrant County College as we have,” said Chief Brown. “We are all searching for quality men and women to join our team as firefighters. This is just one more way of working together to serve our communities.”
 
sideview two if firetruckThe donated vehicle becomes TCC’s second ladder truck and third fire truck overall. Prior to use by students, the truck was refurbished and underwent inspection and certification of the ladder.
 
“The City of Grapevine is an important partner for the Fire Service Training Center and the entire College,” said Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “We are grateful for the city’s contribution, as well as for the work of TCC Board of Trustees Vice President Conrad Heede, who helped facilitate the donation. Their combined commitment to our students will pay dividends in Grapevine and throughout the region.”
 
TCC is the area’s primary trainer for firefighters and other first responders. Fire Service Training Center courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skills training. Facility features include a simulated city for live firefighting—with streets, residences, businesses, an apartment-hotel complex and high-rise buildings—along with a swift-water rescue site, trench rescue training area, confined-space rescue maze and simulated train derailment with hazardous materials scenario.
 
fire truck close up sideTarrant County College holds three 14-week cadet classes each year, and the Fire Academy is certified with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which makes graduates eligible to take the state certification exam for basic firefighting. TCC consistently has a pass rate of or near 100 percent.
 
The deadline to submit an application for the Fire Academy’s summer 2017 cadet class is Friday, April 14. Veterans are encouraged to apply. In addition to the Fire Academy, the Fire Service Training Center offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and continuing education for professional and volunteer firefighters.
 
The deadline to submit an application for the 2017 Fire Academy cadet class is Friday, April 14. Veterans are encouraged to apply.
 

TCC Invites Job Seekers, Recruiters to Community Job Fair

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2017) – Job seekers and area employers will come together at Tarrant County College Thursday, April 27, for the College-Wide Job Fair. The event is free and open to students, alumni and the community. It is hosted jointly by TCC’s South, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Trinity River and Connect campuses along with the TCC Foundation.
 
The fair takes place 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at South Campus (5301 Campus Dr., Fort Worth, SSTU Dining Hall). Companies are recruiting for full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs as well as paid internships. Candidates of all industries and experience levels are encouraged to attend, dress professionally and come prepared with résumés.
 
The fair will feature more than 40 companies, including the American Airlines Training and Conference Center, AmeriState Claim Solutions, Ben E. Keith, ChildCare Careers, Fastenal, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Texas Department of Public Safety, Fort Worth Independent School District and Walmart Distribution Center.
 
“Whether you’re getting ready to graduate or just looking for your next position, the College-Wide Job Fair is a great opportunity to build important skills and get in front of some of the top companies in the region,” said Monica Miranda, coordinator of career and employment services on South Campus.
 
Job seekers can pre-register at tccd.edu/alumni or simply show up at the fair. Employers who wish to participate should contact Miranda at monica.miranda@tccd.edu.
 
The College-Wide Job Fair is co-sponsored by the American Airlines Training and Conference Center, AmeriState Claim Solutions and ChildCare Careers. Sponsors’ contributions benefit student scholarships and programs through the TCC Foundation.
 
In addition to the College-Wide Job Fair, recruiters from Billy Bob’s Texas will be at Northwest Campus Wednesday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth, WSTU Hallway). Northeast Campus will host a military recruitment event during Spring Fest, which takes place Wednesday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus lawn (828 W. Harwood Rd., Hurst). The Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics will host a job fair specific to those fields 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20 (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth).
 

5 Myths About Workforce Training

Jennifer Hawkins, Director of Corporate Solutions & Economic Development

 

 

As corporate executives spend the month reviewing financial goals and developing metrics for the upcoming quarter, cutting costs and increasing profits are always paramount.

 

Budget line items like continuing education are most susceptible to cuts, fueled by four common myths about low return on investment. These misconceptions are shortsighted and negatively impact profit.

 

Myth 1: Once employees complete training, they’ll quit before the ink dries on their diploma.

Research shows the opposite to be true. In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed employers and found increased training and education raised productivity more than increased hours worked or capital equipment purchased.

 

Continuing education plays a role in recruitment too. A 2012 University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School white paper highlighted a case study on Mutual of Omaha. According to the document, company employees who participated in the tuition reimbursement program were twice as likely as non-participants to stay employed with the organization. Educate your employees and they will increase your profits; you also will recruit stronger candidates.

 

Myth 2: Continuing education curriculum does not fit my employees’ workday.

Colleges and universities are requiring more hours for certifications and degrees, and when considering continuing education, many leaders recall that their time at a four-year institution included electives and other areas of study that were outside their core focus. Many don’t realize customized training is available.

 

My team has worked with more than 50 companies to develop specialized curricula used to educate and train nearly 2,000 students a year. For example, General Electric Manufacturing Solutions needed to train nearly 300 new employees at the company’s Fort Worth-based manufacturing facility in 2012. In less than a month, TCC developed classes for entry-level machine operators and welders, new and advanced.

 

Myth 3: The classes are too expensive.

TCC offers customized classes for $200 or less per hour, and works directly with businesses to ensure training meets the company’s needs. Additionally, Tarrant County businesses of any size could be eligible to partner with TCC for one of two grants provided by the Texas Workforce Commission. The Skills for Small Business grant is designed to provide tuition reimbursement for companies with 100 or less employees, and the Skills Development Fund grant provides funding for TCC CSED to deliver customized training for incumbent and newly hired employees. Both of these programs are designed to enable businesses to partner with TCC to increase the skill levels and wages of employees, while adding direct value to the business through increased productivity and quality.

 

Myth 4: Class times are inconvenient.

TCC CSED works with local businesses to develop training that is affordable, accessible and appropriate for a company’s specific needs. Classes are provided at times convenient for businesses and their employees. Additionally, TCC’s six campuses offer day, evening and weekend credit and noncredit classes and programs available to those who want to further increase their skills for employment.

 

Myth 5: Our organization’s training needs are too complex and specific for a community college to fulfill.

The team at CSED works directly with companies to identify the specific training gaps and develops customized programs to meet those needs.  The department’s trainers are subject matter experts in their respective fields who come from a wide variety of business, technical, manufacturing and management backgrounds.  Many hold nationally recognized certifications in their industries and in curriculum development.  Examples of past training contracts range from training 400 employees how to refurbish the iPhone before it was released in the United States to training security contractors before being deployed to assignments in Afghanistan.  TCC CSED has partnered with major corporations including Lockheed Martin, Halliburton and General Motors to develop and deliver highly specialized training.

 

Greater productivity, employee retention and enhanced recruitment are only a few of the benefits continuing education provides. And don’t dismiss strengthening a company’s competitive position, the positive impact on a company’s culture and narrowing the gap between entry-level and experienced employees.

 

C-suite executives should consider TCC before decisions are made to trim or increase budget dollars for continuing education. Leaders may want to overthink the components of continuing education.

 

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar sums it up in two sentences.

 

“What’s worse than training your workers and losing them?” he asks. “Not training and keeping them.”

 

As director of corporate solutions and economic development at Tarrant County College, Jennifer Hawkins, JD, helps local businesses identify and meet their short-term training and education needs. Her department has developed curriculum for employees at General Electric, Bell Helicopter, and General Motors, among others.

 

TCC Hosts Job Fair in High-Demand Fields of Aviation, Transportation and Logistics

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2017) – Tarrant County College invites job seekers and area employers to the upcoming Aviation, Transportation & Logistics Job Fair, set for Thursday, April 20. The event is free and open to students, alumni and the community.
 
Representatives from dozens of companies will be on hand, recruiting for full-time and part-time positions as well as paid internships. Past participants include FedEx, Flight Safety and Lockheed Martin, among others. The event will be held at the Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics at Alliance Airport (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth, Room 1201).
 
“Aviation, transportation and logistics professionals are in high demand, and the need will only grow,” said Michael Lucchesi, Ph.D., director of the Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence. “TCC provides a variety of affordable, flexible pathways into the industry.”
 
Job candidates are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their résumé. Recruitment focuses on candidates with skills specific to the aviation, transportation and logistics industries.
 
The Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence trains students for careers as pilots, aircraft maintenance specialists, dispatchers, distribution managers and more. Employment growth is projected in Tarrant County and beyond. The worldwide aviation industry, for example, is expected to need nearly 1.3 million new commercial pilots and maintenance technicians in the next two decades, according to Boeing’s 2016 Pilot & Technician Outlook, an industry forecast.
 
At 163,500 square feet, the Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence is the largest aviation education facility in Texas. Students learn with professional training equipment, including a fuselage mockup of a G-280 Gulfstream aircraft donated by Gulf Aerospace and aircraft windows donated by Southwest Airlines. Logistics students use a warehouse laboratory with an on-demand warehouse management system. The Aviation and Logistics programs offer a variety of certificates and associate degrees. Visit the College’s website for more information on Aviation and Logistics studies.
 
Employers and job seekers may contact Carmen Wise at carmen.wise@tccd.edu or 817-515-7267 for additional information about the job fair. It is hosted by Northwest Campus Career Services and the Aviation Technology Department.
 

Fill Your Garden with TCC Horticulture Students’ Harvest

Annual plant sale set for April 7 and 8 at Northwest Campus
 
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2017) – Get spring off to a blossoming start with Tarrant County College Horticulture Department’s annual plant sale. The event will showcase more than 50 varieties of flowers, vegetables and herbs—all grown by students in the Horticulture Program.
 
The sale will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 7, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at Northwest Campus (4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth, outside Building WCTS). The sale is open to the community. It will feature flowering annuals and perennials including impatiens, marigolds, begonias, lantana, verbena and zinnias; foliage plants such as helichrysum and citronella geraniums; vegetables including many varieties of peppers as well as hybrid and heirloom tomatoes; and herbs such as basil, oregano and thyme. Students grew all the plants as part of their Horticulture Program coursework.
 
Items are sold below retail prices; most range from $1.50 to $4. Cash and checks will be accepted. Proceeds help horticulture students cover the cost of field trips and Horticulture Club projects.
 
Northwest Campus features on-site greenhouses, gardens and a vineyard. This spring, the Horticulture Department introduced a viticulture course, teaching students techniques for cultivating grapes. Students also learn greenhouse operation and management; landscape design, installation and maintenance; nursery and retail garden center operation and management; soil science; and pest control. Day and evening classes are available. Students can earn a certificate of completion or an associate degree and get the foundation for continuing their studies at a university. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, employment of landscape architects is projected to grow 33 percent between 2012 and 2022; for supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and grounds workers, the projected increase in employment is 23 percent.
 
Horticulture courses also are offered for personal enrichment. For more information on the Horticulture Program, visit the TCC website or contact David Bulpitt at david.bulpitt@tccd.edu.
 

EVENT UPDATE: TCC Dance Faculty and Guest Artists to Perform in Sundance Square

EVENT UPDATE: DUE TO ANTICIPATED INCLEMENT WEATHER, THE SUNDAY PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED UNTIL MAY 14. MORE DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE CLOSER TO THE DATE.
 
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2017) – Dance faculty and alumni from across the Tarrant County College District will team with guest artists for a special performance in Downtown Fort Worth’s Sundance Square. The “Merge” concert will be held Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m., on the Plaza Stage at Main Street and 4th Street.
 
The performance will include choreography in the styles of modern and post-modern dance, modern hip-hop fusion, contemporary ballet and ballet folklorico. The performance will feature faculty members Kiera Amison, Claire Augstine, Brandy Niccolai-Belfi, Lacreacia Sanders and Amy L. Jennings. Guest artists include Ballet Folklorico Azteca, Collective Force Dance Company, Ephiphany DanceArts, imPULSE Dance Project, Jordan Fuchs Company: Group Action and Muscle Memory Dance Theatre.
 
“TCC is a vibrant aspect of Fort Worth culture, and we are excited to perform in the heart of downtown,” said Jennings, associate professor of dance at Northwest Campus. “Sundance Square gives us a great platform to share the talents of our faculty, students and partners in the dance community.”
 
This is the Merge concert’s 10th season and second season to take place in Sundance Square. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jennings at amy.jennings@tccd.edu or 817-515-7174.
 

What’s stopping you? TCC alum makes sacrifices for education, earns national recognition

Karmin Ramos remembers the exact moment she decided to enter the construction sciences industry.

 

“I was watching HGTV and DIY with my parents and realized that I had a passion for construction,” said Ramos, who earned her Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management Technology along with two construction certificates in spring 2016. “I had flashbacks of me when I was a little girl making things around the house and knew I liked the process of constructing a project.”

 

The next day, Ramos was sitting in a TCC counselor’s office, sharing her career plans. She’d been at Tarrant County College for three years trying to figure out what to study. The counselor told her about the Construction Management Technology program, and Ramos enrolled the next semester. She earned an “A” in her first class and knew without a doubt that she had found her path.

 

But it’s not just Ramos herself who realizes she has a gift for the high-demand construction sciences. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently recognized her with the Outstanding Student Award. She is one of 28 students in the country to earn the recognition at this year’s convention in Orlando, Fla. Students are selected based on their academic achievements, involvement with their school’s NAHB chapter and their interest in pursuing a residential building career. Orlando Bagcal, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of the Construction Management Technology program at TCC South Campus, nominated Ramos for the honor.

 

“Truly, Karmin is a remarkable example of a persevering student who wants to achieve her education goal
s and be successful in her chosen career,” observed Bagcal.

 

Ramos excelled in her studies while balancing a variety of activities: serving as an intern at top-ranked construction management company Linbeck, secretary of the Association of Construction Management Students (ACMS), student senator for the TCC South Campus student government organization and a community volunteer. But success meant some difficult decisions for Ramos. After two semesters in the Construction Management Technology Program, she had to make a decision between quitting her job to focus on school or continue working, which would prolong her graduation date.

 

Ramos wrestled with the choice. She had been full time with her company for nearly four years.

 

“Part of what made it difficult to leave my job was being used to the income, but it was mostly fear of the unknown,” remembered Ramos. “I had gotten so used to being independent and being able to pay for my classes and bills and helping my parents out that it didn’t feel right quitting.”

 

She turned to her parents for advice.

 

“They thought focusing on school was a great idea, because in their home countries of Mexico and Honduras, did not have the privilege of furthering their education,” Ramos said. “They told me they wanted to see me graduate more than anything and that they would support my decision.”

 

Ramos finally decided the she had been putting off school for too long and left her job.

 

“At TCC, I found something I really enjoyed and did not want anything to get in the way. I was worried how I was going to pay for my classes, but had faith God was going to help me.”

 

Her financial concerns were alleviated when Westwood Contractors offered her a scholarship. She was able to focus on her studies and career plans—and those around her took note. Bagcal said Ramos took ACMS to a new level, organizing and coordinating participation in Habitat for Humanity, the Cowtown Brush-Up and Adopt-a-Highway, among other activities. When it came time for Bagcal to make a nomination for the NAHB Outstanding Student Award, Ramos rose to the top of the list.

 

“She is an outstanding student—not only academically but also as a leader,” Bagcal said.

 

Despite her talents, the award and even the nomination were a surprise to Ramos.

 

“I did not find out I won until they called out my name during the ceremony,” she said. “Once I heard it I was so excited, I rushed to the stage.”

 

It was a big moment with lasting implications.

 

“Winning the award brought me a lot of hope,” Ramos reflected. “Sometimes you start to feel weary when you are going after your future. You start to forget everything you have accomplished and overcome. This award reminded me how important it is to set goals and to continue to pursue them no matter the obstacles you face or how exhausted you feel, because your hard work will pay off.”

 

That hard work paid off not only for Ramos but also for the ACMS organization, which placed second in the nation for the 2016 Outstanding NAHB Student Chapter.

 

Ramos is continuing her studies at TCC. She plans to get a job over the summer with a construction firm as a project engineer, scheduler or estimator before transferring to the University of Texas at Arlington to work toward a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. Her career path is bright. The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan region in the southern United States, with more than 7 million residents. Projections call for continued population growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, meaning continued demand in the construction industry.

 

Bagcal believes other students—whatever their area of study—can learn from Ramos.

 

“She was able to excel in both her studies and co-curricular activities,” he said. “Being in college is about not only academics—but at the same time being able to enjoy college life by getting actively involved and enhancing social and networking skills. Karmin mastered that balance.”

 

This story is the latest in a series celebrating members of the TCC community who don’t let challenges stop them. Follow these links to read previous features: Salma Alvarez, Celia Mwakutuya, Jessica Caudle, Ken Moak, Melora Werlwas, Kevin Douglas, Marine Creek Collegiate High School students,  students in atypical careers and Tre’Zjon Cothran.