STC and PSJA ISD receive $564,469 in job-training grants from TWC
MCALLEN, TX (October 13, 2017) – Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez, III presented a $221,799 Skills Development Fund Grant to South Texas College and a $342,740 Jobs and Education (JET) grant to PSJA ISD at a special ceremony on Friday, Oct. 13.
Dr. Shirley A. Reed, President of South Texas College; PSJA ISD Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Daniel King, State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; McAllen Mayor Jim Darling; and MEDC President Keith Patridge were all present at the event along with representatives from the offices of Rep. Sergio Munoz Jr., Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
“I look at today’s children and young adults in the PSJA area, and I realize that when they have children, they will be operating vehicles without steering wheels for example,” TWC Commissioner Alvarez said. “This is how the face of manufacturing is changing. We compliment those who are receiving this JET grant today because your contribution has enabled this region to experience economic development, not only through training, but through the ability to generate $729,000 back into the local community. That is a huge investment.”
The grants included the $220,000 SDF grant with employer partners Cinch Connectors Inc. and Universal Metal Products Inc.; and the $340,000 JET grant Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) awarded to PSJA ISD with STC as its higher education partner.
“When I arrived to the Rio Grande Valley in 1994, I remember being told that the economic future was going to rest on how successful we were in developing the college,” Dr. Reed said. “I was told at that time that the only we were going to climb out of poverty and get jobs down here is to develop skills in potential workers. That’s the formula we followed at the beginning of the college, and it’s still our mission today.”
Through the Skills Development Fund Grant, Texas Workforce Commission will support the manufacturing industry in the Lower Rio Grande Valley by providing technical training for STC’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing. Funding will help businesses meet their training needs and build a skilled workforce.
“We have appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars to different programs to make sure we are able to train our workforce, as well as give the opportunity to high school students to get proper training so they get the skills they need to be employable,” said Sen. Hinojosa. “I have to commend the leadership of Dr. Shirley Reed, who is very proactive in making sure that we in the legislature pay attention."
The JET grant will be used to purchase and install equipment at PSJA ISD. The proposed program was funded to provide 180 students who are enrolled in dual-credit Career and Technology Education programs with training leading towards licenses, certificates and post-secondary degrees in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Structural Welding, Architectural and Visual Technology as well as industry based certifications. The award is for the period of March 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.