After working two jobs in order to make ends meet and then getting laid off from a local oilfield service company, Jaime Moran is finally employed at a steady job for one of Midland’s most respected HVAC companies. In July 2021, he began working at The Bosworth Company, but he had to overcome several obstacles to get there.
Approximately 22 years ago, Moran’s mother made her way to California from Mexico when she was pregnant with him. As a single mother with two small children (Moran and his older sister Daisy), it was difficult to make ends meet in a new country, so she returned to Culiacán, Sinoloa, Mexico, and became an English teacher.
Jaime and Daisy grew up in Culiacán. Daisy eventually married and moved to Midland with her husband. After graduating from high school in Culiacán and obtaining an electrician certificate, Jaime wanted to study architecture in Mexico.
“It was very difficult to get accepted into a Mexican university because I was born in the United States and had never become a Mexican citizen,” Moran explained. “Typically Mexican universities only accept Mexican citizens.”
So, Moran decided to follow his sister to Midland to see if he could get a job and start college in the United States. First, he had to learn English.
“Even though my mother taught English in Mexico, we never really spoke it,” Moran said. “So, I enrolled in ESL [English as a Second Language] courses at the Midland College Cogdell Learning Center. I also discovered that I needed to obtain my GED certificate before I could get into a college in the United States, and I needed a job. I didn’t want to impose on my sister and brother-in-law to support me.”
So, Moran began working the 4 a.m.-2 p.m. shift at JumBurrito and also worked from 4 to 11 p.m. at Mr. Gatti’s Pizza.
“Working those hours didn’t give me much time for anything else,” he said. “I also didn’t have a car. I would either walk to work or get an Uber. When my manager at JumBurrito found out that I was walking to work in the dark, she was nice enough to drive me to work in the mornings. I had also moved out of my sister’s house and moved in with a friend, but it was just a one-bedroom apartment, so I slept on an air mattress in the living room.”
After maintaining this grueling schedule for approximately one year, Moran was hired by a local oilfield service company.
“My goal was to take the GED exam and then start college, but I was working 18- to 24-hour shifts,” he explained. “The pay was good; I rented my own apartment and purchased a car, but I still didn’t have time to pursue my dream of furthering my education.”
In the summer of 2020, during the COVID pandemic and the subsequent downturn in the energy industry, Moran was laid off from his job.
“I told myself, ‘That’s it — time to get serious about going to college,’” Moran said. “So, I spent about a week studying for the GED exam and then took the exam and passed. Now, I could enroll in classes and work toward a career with steady employment. I did a little research and discovered that Midland College offered HVAC training. Since I already had some electrician training in Mexico, I thought that HVAC would be a good fit for me.”
Moran enrolled in the Midland College Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology program in fall 2020. By July 2021, he had obtained enough training to get an entry-level technician job at The Bosworth Company.
“I love working for Bosworth,” he said. “They are a great company and really value their employees. Most days I work normal hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Working normal, steady hours is something new for me. It gives me more time to be with my girlfriend, family and friends.”
Moran is continuing to take evening classes at Midland College and will receive a certificate in Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology this coming July. He said that The Bosworth Company is encouraging him to complete the certificate program.
Moran is just one of many MC students pursuing certificates and degrees in applied technology programs, ranging from Welding, Auto Technology, Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration, Energy Technology and other hands-on programs.
The Midland West Rotary Club is helping students in MC’s Applied Technology programs through scholarship assistance. On March 11, the club will host its “Shoot for the Future” clay shoot at Windwalker Farms in Stanton. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit scholarships for MC Applied Technology students.
“The Midland West Rotary Club recognizes that students in the Applied Technology fields are often overlooked,” Tom Jones, Midland West Rotary Club vice president, said. Yet these students are vital to the Permian Basin economy.”
“It means a lot to me to be able to have a steady job where I can earn a good living,” Moran said. “It was a long, hard road to get to this place in my life, but I’m glad I made the decision to return to my birth country and have been given the opportunity to pursue a career that I enjoy.”
For more information about the Midland West Rotary Club’s Shoot for the Future clay shoot fundraiser, visit the Midland College website at www.midland.edu/clayshoot
Rebecca Bell is the executive director of Institutional Advancement at Midland College.