With grant from TWC, TSC continues to reshape local economy

Texas Southmost College Workforce Training and Continuing Education is preparing the workforce of tomorrow with in-demand technical programs that produce skilled workers to meet the needs of local industry, the region and the state.

In support of the college’s efforts, the Texas Workforce Commission recently awarded TSC with a $350,000 Texas Talent Connection Grant during a check signing ceremony at the TSC Performing Arts Center. This was the second year TSC was awarded funding through this grant program.

“This grant helps us leverage growth in our area and pours millions of dollars back into our local economy,” said Jesús Roberto Rodríguez, Ph.D., TSC President. “The TWC is playing a vital role in reshaping and jump starting our economy.”

TSC is one of 15 workforce training and job skills institutions across the state awarded the Texas Talent Connection Grant, which was announced by the Texas Governor’s office last month.

A press release from the Governor’s office said Gov. Greg Abbott awarded more than $5.2 million dollars to support innovative education and workforce skills training programs that lead to successful job placement, increased wages and improved job retention.

“Texas continues to lead the nation in job creation because of our growing and skilled workforce,” said Abbott. “When we asked Texas employers what the most important factor is for future job growth and business expansion, the top answer is a continuing pipeline of skilled workers. With the more than $5.2 million in Texas Talent Connection grants, we are connecting more employers to work-ready skilled Texans and more Texans to in-demand skills training for higher-paying jobs and career advancement.”

TSC will use its Texas Talent Connection Grant to fund full tuition scholarships for its industrial insulation and welding programs, which can be completed in two and 14 weeks, respectively.

TSC Associate Vice President of Workforce Development Joseph Fleishman, Ph.D., said that having industry partners like BrandSafway and Keppel Amfels at the Port of Brownsville give those who complete these programs the opportunity to begin their careers immediately upon graduation.

“Both companies have hired our graduates in the past and have said they would continue hiring,” he said. “Students from our programs are in demand and this can change the quality of life for someone in an instant.”

Careers in both fields pay exceptionally well according to Fleishman with entry-level pay ranging from $18-20 an hour, including full benefit packages.

TSC Trustee and Past Board Chair Adela Garza said looking at the opportunities these programs provide graduates and industry alike, it is evident that making these courses more affordable and readily available through this grant is a game changer.

“The funding we have received from the TWC is going to be put to good use,” said Garza. “Money will no longer be an obstacle for someone interested in starting a new career or gaining new skills, and we’re going to be able to provide industry with the talent they need. We are grateful to the TWC for continuously supporting our students, college and communities.”

Industrial insulation and welding classes are taught in English and Spanish, and no high school diploma is necessary.

For more information about scholarship eligibility or to apply, visit tsc.edu/wtce.