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A Few Thoughts on Labor Day, Back to School Timing and Equipping Essential Workers!


By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Labor Day is more than just a legal holiday, more than the signal of summer’s end, and more than the beginning of a new school year. This national holiday honoring the American worker has been observed on the first Monday of September in the United States since President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law on June 28, 1894. Along with most  schools  and businesses of all types in  the United States, MIAT will be closed in observance of Labor Day this year on Monday Sept 7th.    As an institution that is proud of our ongoing contribution to the American Skilled Trades work force, we know that Labor Day is much more than a “day off on a Monday in September.” As we prepare to enter another Labor Day weekend, it is important to reflect on the meaning of Labor Day, its origins, its association with back to school timing, and the role of career schools like MIAT in training and educating essential workers. (more…)

2020 High Schools Grads are Most Welcome at MIAT College of Technology for Essential Workforce Training

By John Willis, MIAT Houston Campus President

The year 2020 certainly will  be memorable  because of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.  As a career college administrator for over 20 years, I have been especially concerned about the 2020 high school grads and how they are faring in this era of uncertainty about their health, safety, higher education options, and employment outlook. This crisis has hit many 2020 high school seniors especially hard — not only in the greater Houston area, but across the nation. For the 2020 high school graduates, they will likely remember this year as one of “missed opportunities and memories.” Most were not able to complete their last few critical months of their “traditional” high school experience  that often help shape their next steps.  Critical interactions with teachers and counselors were unable to take place.  On top of that, recent high school grads have missed out on the  “rights of passages”  from their high school days to the next phase of their life – such as attending senior prom, walking the stage in a cap and gown at their commencement ceremony to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” being guests of honor at celebratory parties with large numbers of family and friends, or taking senior trips. 

At MIAT, we understand that for young people in the 16 to 20 age range, making decisions about  which college or career and technical education program to attend or whether to work part-time or full-time straight out of high is especially stressful any year – but even more so this year. For the past several months, our Admissions Department, which is led by Chad Rogers, has been having numerous conversations with recent high school grads, their parents and mentors to help them discern the best path forward. To that end,  I am pleased to welcome 20 recent high school grads to our Houston campus programs with an estimated 80 to 100 more  recent high school grads expected to enroll in our Houston campus programs in our Fall class session. During their transition to college, we are here to provide them and all our students exceptional guidance and support in the  form of orientation to our online learning platform, tutoring, financial assistance, housing assistance and other services that they may need from us now or in the future. (more…)

We are Back, Better and Stronger Together!


By Jennifer Paugh, MIAT Canton Campus President, and John Willis, MIAT Houston Campus President

For college administrators, it is reasonable to assume that the last three months of the Covid-19 pandemic have been some of the most difficult of their careers. Long days and sleepless nights have been physically and emotionally draining. That said, we are and always will be committed to working together as one, united MIAT College of Technology to do what is needed to continue to deliver the career training that our students and employers who hire our graduates expect from us. 

We are extremely proud to see how resilient and resourceful our faculty, staff and students at both campuses have been throughout this experience   —  first, transitioning within less than two weeks  to a 100 percent remote instruction platform on March 30 and then re-opening  our campuses over the last month to allow for small group lab instruction.  We are operational now and for the foreseeable future in new and creative ways. And, most important of all, we are back together safely with the help of technology and strict health and safety protocols. We are better and stronger together because of this shared, disruptive growth experience.

Our journey to reopening both campuses with care, compassion and compliance is the subject of an article that we submitted for the current issue of Career Education Review, which was mailed recently to subscribers. Our article will also be posted online by editor Jenny Faubert in early July. We encourage you to access the Career Education Review Web site (CareerEducationReview.net) to learn more about what we and other article contributors are saying regarding our experiences with adjusting to life, work, and career and technical education in the “new normal.” We are especially grateful to Jenny for this opportunity to share our insights and perspectives with her readers, fans and followers throughout the United States. (more…)

Aviation Mechanics are Needed in this Time of Crisis

During times of crisis or the grounding of planes, many think that aviation mechanics would not be in demand. Actually, the opposite is true. As many airlines park planes, the aviation mechanic is still widely used to service the planes as they are grounded. Aviation mechanics are also needed to service all of the planes, helicopters and light aircraft that the government agencies, police, emergency rescue, military and private jet companies are still using amid this crisis. Aviation mechanics are still in high demand, even during this crisis.


How Do I Get Started in HVACR?

Interested in learning more about how to get started in HVACR? During an HVACR program, you will learn all about HVACR systems. This program will also prepare you to get certification in the field. This certification will help you get started in a rewarding career offering HVACR services to both residential and commercial spaces. Be a part of the revolution, striving to help heat and cool the citizens of the planet in an energy efficient way.


Our Students, Faculty and Staff Are Houston Strong – Now and Always!

By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

To everyone reading this installment of my blog, I want to thank you for your patience and perseverance as all of us do our best to navigate the daily changes and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic sends our way. I know that the temporary closure of our campuses in March and April is not one that any of us expected. Despite the uncertainty and disruption, we are experiencing, we are Houston Strong – better and stronger together.

A crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for growth and change – for every one of us.

The health and wellbeing of our faculty, staff and students will always be the highest priority of MIAT campus presidents and board members. As stay at home orders have recently been lifted, we are working with guidance from local and state officials to implement a return to campus in the safest manner possible.  While we do not have all  details worked out completely, we are preparing for a return to some  onsite campus operations.  We are ready to meet these new challenges and the new normal with which we are presented due to this crisis. (more…)

What Do I Learn in a Welding Career Training Program?

Whether you are finishing high school and making plans for post-secondary education or seeking to develop new skills so that you are better trained for a career change, taking a welding career training program will prepare you for one of the most rewarding careers, that of a welder. To see if this career path is right for you, you must first answer a few key questions to make a more informed decision.

  • What Will I Learn in a Welding Career Training Program?
  • How Quickly Can I Complete a Welding Career Training Program?
  • What Skills Do I Learn in a Welding Career Training Program?


Wind Turbine Technician Career Opportunities

Interested in a career in the renewable energy industry? Want to make a difference in the transition to renewables including wind energy? In as little as 7 months, you can become an entry-level wind turbine technician. Employment of wind turbine technicians is expected to grow 57 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. is moving toward replacing fossil fuel with more environmentally friendly energy creation, so becoming a wind turbine technician is a career that will continue to grow throughout the next few decades.


What are the Basics of HVACR?

One of the fastest growing professions is that of a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technician. HVACR jobs are expected to grow 8% in Michigan and 16% in Texas in the coming decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. This is because technical schools are providing the proper training for these programs in as little as 9 months, a fraction of the time it usually takes to complete a traditional four-year degree. Any modern building likely employs one if not all of the basic components that make up the daily tasks of an HVACR technician. So, what does a HVACR technician do?


Recent Career Fair at MIAT Houston Campus Was a Hit!


By Gail Branch, Director of Career and Student Services, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus

MIAT  hosted a Career Fair at our Houston campus on February 6.  I am pleased to report that this event – one of many in the future – was supported by representatives of 20 local employers  in several industry sectors. Current students and recent graduates had the opportunity to secure information and meet with recruiters and human resources managers with the bonus of participating in on campus interviews.  

Shena Creamer, MIAT’s Career Services Advisor  for our Houston campus, join Houston Campus President John Willis and I in expressing our sincere appreciation to these companies and their representatives for committing to helping our students and alumni pursue a new career.  (more…)