National and state awards totaling $5 million will expand RGV education and workforce development
Texas Border Business
Brownsville, Texas – Texas Southmost College (TSC) has been awarded three highly competitive grants this summer that will funnel more than $5 million into the community to support student enrichment, career and technical education, and innovative program development.
TSC earned its very first National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to fund the BUENO Project: Biotechnology Unified Education Network of Opportunities. With the $225,000 Advanced Technological Education award, TSC will build the first biotechnology program in the region to enhance the employability of technicians in biotechnology-related fields.
“Through the NSF funding we will lead the region in preparing a high-quality workforce for Texas’ growing biotechnology industry,” Dr. Angelica Fuentes, TSC Associate Vice President of Academic Success said. “By working closely with our partners in the local school districts, veteran offices and industry, this grant will fund the development of a true network of opportunities offering a clear path to careers in biotechnology-based STEM fields.”
The Texas Education Agency awarded TSC $1.5 million per year for up to three years of continued funding for the Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.
This program will support the creation of community learning centers at 10 Brownsville Independent School District middle and high schools to provide academic enrichment opportunities. The programming will not only help students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects through bridge programs, summer camps, and peer tutoring, it will also provide literacy and outreach services to the families of participating children.
“With the 21st Century grant and the support of our Board of Trustees, Texas Southmost College will help to change the lives of generations of families over the next three years,” Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez, TSC President said. “By providing academic enrichment to children and literacy services to their parents and other family members, we will create learning communities in homes, not just in our schools. Families will study together, learn together, and motivate each other toward success that will lift up our entire community.”
The Texas Workforce Commission awarded TSC $282,509 from the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant Program to expand the TSC’s capacity to provide high-quality training in the Automotive Technology Program, a high-demand occupation in the region. Through the purchase of additional equipment and program expansion, the college will provide additional training opportunities for on-campus students and dual credit students in the Brownsville, Los Fresnos, and Port Isabel school districts.