T-Brandi Davidson-Walker

Jumpstart program provides career opportunity for BC student

Jumpstart program provides career opportunity for BC student

Thu Jul 25, 2019

Brandi Davidson-Walker

It wasn’t long ago that Brandi Davidson-Walker found herself in a difficult situation. She was a single mom of two kids and without a job. She needed to find a way to bring a consistent income home to her family, but wasn’t sure of the best way to accomplish this.

Then she saw an advertisement in the newspaper that changed everything.

“I saw an ad for the Jumpstart program through Brazosport College and it looked interesting,” Davidson-Walker said. “I had been wanting to go back to school anyway, but it just hadn’t been financially possible. I came down and talked to them, found out it was a free program and that I qualified for it."

Through the Jumpstart program, Davidson-Walker began learning the skills needed to become a millwright. She graduated from the program nine weeks later.

Today, she’s employed by RPM Services.

“I love to tinker, so being a millwright was perfect for me,” Davidson-Walker said. “I’ve always enjoyed taking things apart and fixing them. I’d rather fix things myself rather than pay someone to fix them for me.

“I like learning the mechanics of stuff, and that’s essentially what a millwright does,” she added.

While she had some experience working on cooling towers in the plants, Davidson-Walker admits that Jumpstart provided her the basic training needed to pursue this career.

“Jumpstart helped me a lot,” she said. “It gives you a really good starting point and the instructors have so much experience. You can ask them anything. They even gave recommendations and helped me find a place to work.”

Currently, Brazosport College’s Jumpstart program is offering training for electricians and pipefitters. A new office administration program is also beginning this fall.

Davidson-Walker is also one of many women working inside local chemical plants. Actually, women are pursuing jobs in the various industrial fields more than ever.

“Just like other jobs, you have to prove yourself and show that you’re there to work,” Davidson-Walker said. “You have to come in, work hard, pull your weight and earn respect.”

Today, Davidson-Walker enjoys her job and is able to provide for her family. But she’s still not satisfied. In fact, she’s back at Brazosport College pursuing an Associate of Applied Science with a Millwright specialty.

“I’m trying to get an associate degree right now,” she said. “It’s tough and it can be exhausting, but it will be worth it in the long run.”

For Davidson-Walker, the most important thing is that she’s exactly where she wants to be. She has a family, a career and is working toward advancement in her field. Better yet, she lives near a school that can help her achieve these long-term goals.

“Brazosport College is a great school and it has a great programs,” she said. “We have so much to work with here. We’re able to get the hands-on training that’s needed, and that’s really important.”