By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – About a year into launching their first career institute, Dallas ISD is already seeing a big demand for what they offer.

Right now, there are three throughout the district. Five-hundred high school students are enrolled, but that number is expected to increase ninefold in the next three years.

For years, Merv Scurlark served as Dallas ISD’s master plumber and always enjoyed the interaction he had with students. Now, he’s taking on a new role teaching high school students his skills at Dallas ISD’s Career Institutes South.

“To actually be in a position to be able to teach the class my trade, I feel really good about it,” he said.

“What interested me about it is my dad has a plumbing company and I wanted to help out,” Scurlark’s student Elliot Espinoza said.

Espinoza is getting the skills and certification needed to do that.

“There’s a lot of great opportunities in the career institute,” he said.

“Basic plumber is going to start out to anywhere from $85 – $125 an hour,” Scurlark said.

Outside of plumbing, there’s several other pathways offered including construction and carpentry, electrical and solar technology and heating and air conditioning.

“Realistically, everybody is not going to go to college and it’s really good to have a skill already in place so it’s a pretty good deal,” Scurlark said.

If you’re a parent or student interested in this, DISD is hosting a virtual webinar with more information next week.

Erin Jones