VERO BEACH, Fla. — A new Treasure Coast program is giving college students a taste of life on the road.
Educators are helping students learn new skills to jump-start a career in the entertainment industry as it rebounds from the pandemic.
"We're going to give them a more realistic approach," said Jason Atwell. "The program is 26 days. It's 12-hour days, just like an event."
The new entertainment program teaming up with AAG Live will be offered to a limited number of students each month until November.
"They're going to learn everything from the technical aspects of the audio, the lighting, sound, video, the live streaming, the broadcast," said Atwell.
AAG Live is a Vero Beach-based company.
"We're a full-service production company," said Atwell. "We do concerts all over the world and large events."
Plagued by COVID-19, Atwell said the industry took a massive hit and that now there is a massive need.
"There's going to be a lot of opportunity for entertainment," said Casey Lunsford, the college's Mueller Campus president. "People are going to be demanding it and that workforce that was there before the pandemic, many of them may not come back. They have found something else to do."
To kick off the new 12-credit-hour program, Lunsford decided to hold an on-campus concert.
"I'm all about being pragmatic," said Lunsford. "I don't want to build something that's here today and gone tomorrow."
A musician himself, Lunsford said the job is hard work but rewarding.
"They're not going to get a lot of time to sleep, but that's part of the work ethic that you need to have in this industry," said Lunsford.
"We're going to equip them with enough so that when they go out there, they have all the tools that they need to go into the entertainment or event industry or venue management industry," said Atwell. "To get in there and know what they're supposed to do."
Lunsford said the campus will hold another concert for students on March 24.