New program launches at technical school

Natural Gas Compression Technology, which joins Corrosion Tech and process technology as one of three newest and unique programs at Seward, begins fresh with 10 students this spring. The program is one of only three Natural Gas Compression programs in the United States, with the other two located at Oklahoma State University and San Juan College in New Mexico. The program has been developed in cooperation with regional gas production, transport and service companies; this will assure that the students will receive the best possible training available. Instructor Ron Garber, who is in his second year as an instructor at Seward, first started off in the military. After completing his service, he worked at Stewart and Stevenson, an oil and gas company in Houston, Texas, as a service manager, and has been working in the field ever since. According to Garber, technicians can start making from $18 to $22 per hour, depending on which direction they go. The course begins in the spring and ends in the fall, which includes a paid internship during the summer. The program has acquired many engines and compressors due to donations of surrounding companies, allowing the students to do some hands on training. “This is one of the best programs offered at the technical school, and is one of the highest paying as well,” Garber said. Last year Garber had eight students, and all of them are now work in the field. David Carrillo, who is a student taking the program, has received an industrial grant provided by local companies, which will pay for all of his tuition and books. “Take this program,” Carrillo said. “It’s a good program, it’s a good career, put yourself to it, take a year, and they will get you a job.” The job market for this program is constantly growing, and they are in much need of highly trained technicians.

Crusader photo/ Robert Sanchez
Crusader photo/ Robert Sanchez  SCCC student David Carrillo stands with one of the skids provided by surrounding natural gas compression companies. Carrillo is one of 10 students in the program.