Many people wait weeks for heating and air system repairs. For dental and medical appointments, the wait can be even longer.

The growth of the Triangle has led to a higher demand for people trained in these skill sets.

Technical colleges and training centers throughout central North Carolina are working to fill the gap.

Miller-Motte College in Raleigh providing hands-on education

Kashela Parker is halfway through the one-year program for dental assistants at Miller-Motte College in Raleigh.

“I was considering college, but I felt like this was a better alternative for me considering I have two kids,” Parker said.

The college also offers other training programs like medical assisting, HVAC repair and combination welding to help students start earning paychecks faster and without accruing the debt that they might with a two-year or four-year degree.

“They want something more hands-on that is career-focused and shorter term,” said Miller-Motte College Executive Director Yinet Vento.

Vento said Miller-Motte College came to Raleigh because it’s the third-fastest growing metro region in the country.

“The demand is just booming for jobs and opportunities because Wake County is booming,” said Wake Technical Community College President Dr. Scott Ralls.

Ralls has partnered with Wake County leaders to invest heavily in training programs to attract more students.

“It is something that gives you all kinds of career mobility, high pay, high wages,” Ralls said.

Related: New summer workforce training is coming to Wake high schools

Vento said how many people don’t necessarily need a degree to be successful and make a good living.

Donna Levine, 54, said students don’t have to be college age either to try something new.

“My husband always tells me, ‘Find something you always wanted to do in life and do it,’” Levine said. “And, he let me go back to school and I found myself.”

Ralls said automotive dealers are now hiring some of their students in their first semester as apprentices, which can help them learn free of charge while they are students.

NC economy relies on connecting workers, employers – that’s focus of new NCSU initiative