HVAC Graduate Success Story in El Paso
Willie Alvarez is a climber. He is meteorically scaling the ladder of success in his relatively new career field. It has been an upwardly mobile journey that began with a single key step. Alvarez enrolled in and graduated from the HVAC Technician Training Program at Western Technical College in El Paso.
Currently employed by the El Paso-based hospitality development, management and design firm Esperanto Developments, Alvarez earned entry-level employment upon graduation at a hospital at which he previously served as an intern. And he has never looked back.
“I went to Western Tech, and finished my 18 months of school,” Alvarez said, adding that the college’s placement staff assisted him in his post-graduation job search. “My first job was actually a hospital, Southwestern General Hospital. That’s where I started as a technician. I did an internship with the same company, Southwestern General Hospital, and that’s when they started looking to me, the way I used to work.”
Alvarez said he worked for a jeans company that would wind up relocating to Mexico. “They provided me with options for re-training at a college, so that’s when I decided to go to Western Tech for HVAC,” he said.
The ascent can happen fast in the HVAC field. Alvarez was a hospital HVAC technician for only six months. He went from technician to department lead and from department lead to supervisor. After only a year, he was an HVAC manager at the hospital. Today, the WTC graduate is a regional chief engineer.
Alvarez said WTC’s class schedule made possible his successful career transition.
“I have a family,” Alvarez said. “I could still go to school and work. That’s what got me to go to Western Tech. I would recommend no other colleges. I know the flexibility that Western Tech has. You have classes at night. You have classes in the morning. For people like me, who have families and they really need to work, I think this is a good college.”
Alvarez likens his career to living a dream.
“HVAC has brought me to where I am, right now,” Alvarez said. “It was my dream to become somebody big, and here I am.”