Harlingen Workforce Training Mechatronics

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College has received two grants from the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling for Education (TRUE) Institutional Capacity Grants program for workforce training. The money is available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

TSTC has received $129,987 to support the college’s statewide effort to expand industrial training opportunities by adding more mechatronics equipment.

“It’s an opportunity for TSTC to be responsive to the needs of industry and deploy rapid-response training opportunities to address the labor force and skills gap in the state of Texas,” said Cledia Hernandez, TSTC’s associate vice chancellor for external relations and workforce development.

The second grant, a partnership with South Texas College in McAllen, totaled more than $1.1 million to be shared by the two institutions. TSTC’s portion of the money will be used to buy mechatronics equipment for workforce training in the Rio Grande Valley. Faculty and lab credentialing for certifications from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and the Smart Automation Certification Alliance will also be done.

“We know there is such a need for the expansion of capacity in South Texas with a lot of the projects coming into the region,” said Hernandez. “We know there is a great benefit when the region works together working toward a common goal..”

Hernandez said TSTC has had a good working relationship with South Texas College for years, sharing a goal of expanding the availability of a skilled workforce in South Texas. Based on industry partner input, the biggest need for a skilled workforce at this time is in industrial systems and mechatronics.

“We have a large young population that continues to grow, and being able to expose them to these types of career opportunities is vital,” Hernandez said.

TSTC’s Waco campus is experienced in NCCER training, working with Prosper Waco on the UpSkill Waco program. The partnership enables unemployed and underemployed residents to earn industry-recognized credentials in construction and industrial maintenance in less than three months.

NIMS certification will be new for TSTC, said Adam Barber, TSTC’s executive director of Workforce Training for the East Williamson County, North Texas and Waco campuses.

The purpose of the TRUE grant is to accelerate the number of high-value credential opportunities offered to students — opportunities that are urgently needed for economic recovery due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a future competitive workforce in Texas.

The grants are administered by TSTC’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu

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