NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — One of the most racking things about college is knowing if, after graduation, you have enough experience to land that job. 

Dave Douglas does not have that worry. Pasco Hernando State College already took care of that part. Douglas is part of the first Apartment Maintenance Technical Program at PHSC. 

“I was looking for a career that would be, that would keep me busy, but I didn’t want to get into heavy construction or into anything massive," said Douglas. 

He just retired after 24 years in the Kentucky Guard, and after moving to Florida, he wanted to find a job or trade to keep him busy and moving. 

“Because when a person retires, of course he doesn’t just want to sit at the house and do nothing," said Douglas. 

After just one week of classroom time, students are paired up with nearby apartment complexes to get on the job training too. 

“The whole idea is to produce a workforce that is highly skilled, and hopefully highly paid, and we try our best to get those students out of the program in 60 to 90 days, that is why we call it rapid credentialing," said Timothy Beard, PHSC President.

Several days a week now, Douglas spends time at the Cove on the Bay Apartments in Tampa.

“Going on my fifth week," said Douglas as he drove a golf cart to an apartment in need of some repairs.

He is paid for this work, and also is gaining apprenticeship hours as a maintenance technician. 

“I quiet enjoy it. I mean it is self gratifying to help somebody out, to be of service to somebody that needs, in need of something. Usually they don’t see us unless there is a problem," said Douglas. “The class has helped a lot, especially with the troubleshooting of the appliances, and the correct way to do a few different things.”

Some of those things include HVAC, cabinetry, electrical, appliance repair, and other skills. All of those areas are also areas he will be certified in after the year long PHSC course. 

To learn more about the course, click here.