Student Spotlight: pipefitting program helps an immigrant pursue a better future | San Jac Athletics

Student Spotlight: pipefitting program helps an immigrant pursue a better future

10.27.2013 | By

Pipefitting student

San Jacinto College pipefitting fabricator student Christian Cardenas-Gonzalez works on a class project under the supervision of pipefitting instructor Jay Nguong Nguyen (left). Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

Student Spotlight: pipefitting program helps an immigrant pursue a better future

Rob Vanya -- October 28, 2013



QUESTION: What led to your interest in the pipefitting fabricator program at San Jacinto College?

CHRISTIAN CARDENAS-GONZALEZ: The closer I looked at the program the more interested I became because pipefitting fabrication combines two things I really like – mathematics and building things.

Q: Why did you choose San Jacinto College?

A:  When I decided to go back to school it was to learn a trade that was different than what I was doing and that would enable me to earn more money. When I first arrived in the USA, my uncle told me that just because you are an immigrant you do not have to always do a job you do not really like, and in this country a person can be who he really wants to be. I realized I could go to school to learn, and to be who I want to be. At San Jacinto College, I am able to improve my English skills while I also learn a trade. In the pipefitting program we have classroom time, but we also get hands-on training by spending time in the lab working on projects. If anyone wants to be a pipefitter, I highly recommend San Jacinto College because it is affordable, the class schedules are flexible, and the instructors are very qualified.

Q: What processes and skills does a person use in pipefitting fabrication?

A: It involves blueprint reading, geometry and trigonometry, welding, using a cutting torch, grinding, and the use of many types of hand tools. All these are needed to be a good pipefitting fabricator, and we are learning all these skills in our classes at San Jacinto College.

Q: What are your plans once you finish at San Jacinto College? What are your ultimate career goals?

A: For now, I plan to earn my pipefitting certification at San Jacinto College, and I have not decided what education or training I will pursue after that. My career goal is to be an engineer for a company like Chevron or Shell, so I would like to continue with my education to become an engineer. But I will have to talk to an educational counselor to find out what my next steps might be.

Christian Cardenas-Gonzalez lives in Pasadena. He grew up in southwestern Mexico and attended Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado Michoacan before emigrating to the United States. He is a student in San Jacinto College’s new pipefitting fabricator program, which is offered at the North Campus. The College offers a “fast track” schedule in the program that enables students to earn a pipefitting achievement award in one Fall or Spring term.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

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