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52 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2023 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 Elvia Quintanilla heads the Texas Technical Trade School, a state-funded training and work program that is a win-win-win for everyone— students, area employers, and the industry. It's tax-funded, meaning it's free for all those involved. Elvia enjoys going to work every day, and she wants to spread the news about how she's giving students the same opportunities she had. Elvia, I understand that you are heading a trade school that you founded. Is that right? Yes. I started a Texas trade school in July 2020, when COVID started. I had been in the indus- try for 10 years aer starting as a 23-year-old single mom working at a trade school. I had seen an opportunity in trades like electron- ics and HVAC. I loved the industry. I never thought about leaving my trade school and Texas Trade School Links Students With Employers had even become an assistant director over 10 years. But with COVID, it all shied, and I decided to resign. I didn't have the same vision for help- ing people anymore. It was like a heartbreak. So, I started my own school. Because I had already been running another one, I thought, "Look, I'll do it and I'll succeed, because I am passionate about what I do and I really want to help people the right way. Or, I don't make it and I'll just go back to working at another school." But here I am, two years later, and we've trained almost 80 students in one year. is month marks our first full year of training. Please tell us a little bit about your program and what students are getting out of it. e Texas Technical Trade School is a train- ing provider for the state of Texas. Our pro- image: texastechtrade.com

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