Mid-South college offers chance at second career amid pandemic

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 10:40 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new report shows more than two million restaurant jobs have disappeared in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So when a catchy commercial for a local college promised to turn out-of-work waiters into welders who earn big bucks, we wanted to know more.

”If you’re a food server or a bartender, this would be a good time to learn another way to make a living,” said the commercial.

Moore Tech’s new ad campaign offers the unemployed a chance to start a second, good-paying career.

“Due to the fact that I lost my job, I was laid off due to the virus,” said Ronnie Perkins, a student at Moore Tech.

Perkins needed to pivot jobs. He picked Moore Tech’s HVAC program.

Instructors show him how to fix heating and air conditioning systems.

Professional development and psychology courses teach him to be a better employee and manager.

”You can do the job very well,” said Perkins. “But a lot of times your communication skills with others is very important. So that’s what I’ve learned thus far.”

”We have a 97-percent placement rate for the last five years,” said Skip Redmond, Moore Tech President.

Redmond says their enrollment has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Up from 350 students to 390 students this trimester.

The school’s ad campaign reached a lot of people.

”We just felt like it would be a great opportunity to develop an ad that would spur the interest of those that are waiting to get back into the industry,” said Redmond.

Here are the careers Moore Tech offers, along with their impressive placement stats:

  • Property Maintenance (100%)
  • HVAC Maintenance (95%)
  • Welding (100%)
  • Industrial Electricity (100%)
  • Auto Tech program (100%)

”We had 11 graduates for our first class last July,” said Redmond. “Each one of those were already employed before they graduated. But they graduated making around $55,000 to $60,000 a year. So that’s a great program.”

As for Perkins, he plans on coming out of the pandemic with a better job And a much brighter future.

”The transition from a truck driver to here at Moore Tech to go to school for HVAC has been tremendous,” he said.

Moore Tech has three campuses in Memphis.

For more information, contact one of the school’s three admissions counselors.

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