Determination, scholarships helped VC student complete millwright training

Richard Morin will soon complete Level 5 of Victoria College’s millwright classes.

Just a year ago, Richard Morin felt he was on the right track toward a rewarding career. He had just completed Victoria College’s Millwright Level 1 class while juggling school and a full-time job as a general helper for a local energy services company.

But in October of 2019, Morin was laid off from his job. The 32-year-old Port Lavaca native became discouraged and wondered how he was going to be able to afford continuing his education at Victoria College.

“I kind of felt devalued as a person,” Morin said. “But I said to myself, ‘You know what, I’m not going to allow anyone to take this opportunity away from me.’ I’m not the type of person who will give up on anything that I do.”

Thanks to his determination and scholarships from the Victoria College Foundation, Morin will soon complete Level 5, which is the highest level of certified millwright courses of National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) offered at Victoria College.

“The moment I get that certificate in my hand, I know I am going to feel like I really accomplished something,” Morin said. “I am very proud of myself for taking the leap of faith.”

Morin learned about Victoria College’s millwright classes from a friend.

“He had taken the classes a year before and said he liked them,” Morin said. “He said the instructors were really knowledgeable.”

Morin enrolled and successfully completed Victoria College’s Core Curriculum: Introductory Craft Skills class, which is required by NCCER before students can begin specific industrial trades training. His plan was to immediately start the Millwright Level 1 class.

“I wanted to get all the levels done within a certain amount of time, but I couldn’t come up with the money right away, so it looked like I was going to have to wait,” Morin said.

With the help of VC Workforce & Continuing Education Program Coordinator Mary Hardy, was granted scholarships for all five levels of millwright classes.

“Mary really worked hard to get me the scholarships,” Morin said. “I am very thankful for those scholarships, because I didn’t know how I was going to cover the cost of the classes. I not only highly recommend the millwright classes, but all the industrial trades classes here at VC. You just have to take that leap and go for it. You can’t hesitate or put it off.”

Morin, who has worked as an industrial painter while taking the classes, has already been hired to start on as a millwright for a national industrial construction company before even finishing the Level 5 class.

Even though he has kept his promise to himself and finished what he started, Morin still has one regret.

“I wish I would have known about what Victoria College offers sooner. I would have done this 10 years ago,” Morin said. “But God’s timing is perfect.”

Victoria College offers a number of job training courses that lead to NCCER certification and in-demand jobs, including electrical; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); millwright; pipefitting; plumbing; power line worker; and welding. These courses take 12 to 16 weeks to complete per level, with three to five levels offered in each area. A high school diploma is not required to enroll in any of these courses except for power line worker. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

For more information on Victoria College’s job training courses leading to careers in the industrial trades, call (361) 582-2528 or email