Texas Border Business
By Amanda Sotelo
South Texas College is introducing a new program that will give students highly coveted and marketable skills that will help them get job placement in the industrial maintenance and repair field all thanks to the Texas Workforce Commission Texas Talent Connection Grant.
The $254,167 will fund scholarships for 76 individuals from high school students to adults to enter STC’s brand new Maintenance and Repair Program for Automated Technology.
“This program will cover some of the most in-demand trainings in the industry, with an additional focus on automation and robotics,” said Carlos Margo, STC dean of Industrial Training and Economic Development. “This grant is unique, it’s highly competitive and it has been several years in the making. This is helping us develop a brand-new program that is strong and targeted to get individuals that high-paying, in-demand job upon completion.”
Trainees in this program will receive a comprehensive understanding of robotics, safety and maintenance technologies to receive certifications in safety and accident prevention, industrial maintenance technology, programmable logic controllers and Fuji Automatic Numerical Control (FANUC) operator.
STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D., said the way a community supports education is the way a region will be able to benefit their workforce and economic development future.
“This is a tremendous period; there is significant change in the workforce, it’s transforming, and we’re all working together and being innovative to get those who are not in the workforce into training and placed into employment where they can utilize their skills,” said Solis. “Our goal at STC is to increase our short-term programs and certificates, and that’s what we’re doing with these types of grants. We’re looking forward to continuing these efforts as a collective group with TWC to bring change to our region.”
Regal Rexnord-Climate Solutions was of the industry leaders who attended the event.
Quality Manager Jesus De Lira said the benefits of this program will benefit his company and its employees.
“We’re growing in the area, and we are taking full advantage of what STC has to offer,” said De Lira. “We’ve already had more than 100 employees previously train with the college and our three sites in the area have benefitted greatly. We have seen firsthand how great all of this is for the community, and we are appreciative for the opportunity to hire skilled workers.”
Texas Workforce Commission Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson said he is not surprised to hear how the collective efforts of STC and TWC are bringing positive change.
“The work that continues to be done here is remarkable, and there are a number of people who make it happen every day,” said Demerson. “The truth is, when you bring together the worlds of workforce, economic development and education and combine that with elected leadership then we’re well on our way to success and today is evidence of that. Congratulations South Texas College, because we’re excited and proud of what is happening here and we’re glad to be a part of it.”
With this grant and the support from the Texas Workforce Commission, STC Trustee Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar called the investment in the human capital infrastructure in the region, monumental.
“This is a great day for the 76 individuals that will be recruited for this new program, for their families and our region,” she said. “In the Valley we know that we have always been the future of the great state and honestly, this entire country. Collective impact is the model of economic development, and it all starts with education. We must continue creating these opportunities, so we continue growing. The future is here at the south Texas border, so thank you to the TWC for investing in our area.”
For more information on customized industry training offered at STC, visit southtexascollege.edu.