With more than $300,000 in funding, South Texas College is partnering with local workforce agencies and municipalities to bring numerous education and training opportunities to the Rio Grande Valley.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development Board now has more than $300,000 in grant funding from the Texas Workforce Commission. The board is in now in a partnership with STC, Edinburg Economic Development and Pharr Economic Development.
Earlier this month, TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez gave the awards to representatives from STC, Edinburg EDC and Pharr EDC.
“I think the stars have aligned for all of us,” Commissioner Alvarez said. “We have crossed paths in many ways, and one of the things that I can honestly say that beginning in 2016 we were able to put together a game plan … instilled in there is the value and remarks from many of you who attended those meetings on expanding apprenticeship programs, and allowing individuals to have options, not just alternatives.”
Funds for apprenticeships
A $199,390 Apprenticeship Texas Expansion Grant will help initiate and expand existing Registered Apprenticeship programs in the region. The Registered Apprenticeship Program focuses on auto service technicians, industrial maintenance, HVAC and machinists. STC serves as the RA sponsor. The college will be responsible for developing and providing curriculum for apprentices. It also will engage and expand RA programs and services through employer engagement.
“I think there are two key words in today’s activities, and those are jobs and partnerships,” STC Board Chairman Paul Rodriguez said. “These programs go back to the days of apprenticeships which were the limitations of training programs for a long time.
“Bringing these back in this way shows true initiative, and I think there is a tremendous opportunity for everyone,” he continued. “We are certainly very pleased at South Texas College to be a part of these many partnerships, and we look forward to many more.”
Funds for medical equipment, certification
Two High Demand Job Training grants also went to the Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development Board. One of those grants is in partnership with Edinburg EDC and STC in the amount of $93,110. It will provide training for 53 new and incumbent workers from businesses in Edinburg. The Edinburg EDC plans to match that amount for a total $186,000. The funds will develop a first-of-its-kind maintenance training program for biomedical equipment in the city.
Funds in Edinburg will also be of use for a customized Certified Nursing Assistance Program. It will provide trainees who successfully complete the program with a Phlebotomy Certification from the National Health Care Association for Phlebotomy Technicians
Additional training areas through the grant in Edinburg also include customer service and cybersecurity.
Funds for construction training
The final grant of $19,000 comes from TWC in partnership with PSJA ISD and Pharr EDC. It will create a national certification for construction education and research. The Pharr EDC is contributing a 1:1 match for a total of $38,000 to support the project.
“This is what we do at South Texas College, and it’s our prime responsibility at Texas Workforce Commission,” Alvarez said. “It’s to allow individuals to have options as they grow up. Every individual should be able to go to college.”