A partnership between the Weslaco Economic Development Corp. and South Texas College is leading to better trained workforces for warehousing, distribution and manufacturing companies in both the Mid-Valley and surrounding areas.
A $100,000 STC grant is one component of the EDC’s partnership with the college and its Institution for Advanced Manufacturing. The training provided by the grant is initially focusing on occupational health and safety. The first round of training recently took place at Kapal Cabinet House at the Mid Valley Industrial Park.
The training has thus far led to OSHA 30 Certification for Kapal employees. This is a key mandate in labor-intensive industries involving the handling of machinery and equipment. The training will not only benefit current employees at companies like Kapal but will also improve the overall level of a skilled workforce in the area.
“The goal is to improve the efficiency and productivity of our companies in Weslaco,” said Marie McDermott, the executive director of the EDC. “There is a direct tie to running a successful and profitable business when all of the employees are equipped with the right training.”
More companies look to partnership
ColiMex Cold Storage is also making arrangements for its employees to receive the STC training. Other companies are expressing interest, such as H-E-B Distribution, Maverick Industrial Services, Trinity Engineering, Texas Fireguard and AEP Texas.
J.J. Serrano, an EDC board member and the facilities leader of H-E-B’s Weslaco Retail Support Center, sees firsthand the benefits of improving the training levels of employees working in warehousing and distribution. The benefits also go beyond boosting the levels of workforce training.
“It’s a morale booster,” Serrano said. “Employees feel good that their company is making an investment in them.”
Serrano said the training has included the operating of forklifts, protective clothing and wearing safety belts.
“You want to have a good and safe environment for your employees,” he said. “Training is a key piece to ensuring that happens.”