Texas Workforce Commission Commissioner Ronny Congleton presented a ceremonial check for a $1.3 million grant to Alvin Community College on Oct. 20 that will be used by the Continuing Education Workforce Development Department to provide training for a petrochemical consortium involving four area companies.
The 1-year TWC Skills Development Fund grant will be used to supply approximately 17,000 hours of advanced training to over 640 new and existing employees at TEAM Industrial, Ascend Performance Materials, LyondellBasell and Solvay Chemicals.
“This grant means a lot to the community,” said Dr. Jim Kelly, ACC’s grant manager for the project. “We’ve been blessed by TWC; this is the second time we’ve been able to do this.”
“We hope that we will serve you well,” he continued.
Congleton presented a $2.3 million grant from the same fund to ACC two years ago to create and upgrade over 1,200 jobs at several local chemical companies.
“It’s always my pleasure to come to Alvin,” he told guests. “I have great faith in Alvin Community College.”
“We’re trying to support good jobs that support families and communities,” he added.
Both Congleton and Kelly emphasized the need for Texas to focus on investing in a highly trained workforce.
“We’re competing with international companies now,” Kelly said. “We need to be the center of technology in the world and this kind of grant will help us do that.”
According to TEAM Industrial Senior Vice President Pat Kearns, training provided by ACC through the grant will help his company create between 100 and 200 jobs.
“We are a Texas-based company and we always strive to continue to grow our business in the Texas market,” Kearns said. “This (grant) will help us create the jobs to grow.”
Through the program, over 40 categories of training will be provided, including programmable logic control, instrumentation, EMT certification, pump certification, compressor certification, metallurgy, electrical distribution, switchgear, analyzer, vibration analysis, several certifications through TEAM in non-destructive testing and inspection, quality assurance and mechanical integrity.
“Some of the training will be provided by ACC departments, some by the private partners, some by professional organizations such as ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and some by other schools such as Texas A&M University,” Kelly expressed. “A good bit of the training will take place at the partners’ locations, when possible, and when there is synergy among them it will be held at one of our campuses with participants coming from multiple partners. In other cases, the students will go to equipment manufacturer’s or seminar provider’s location for their training.”
Those to be trained include operations and maintenance technicians, engineers, environmental, safety and health technicians and professionals, logistics personnel, human resources personnel and clerical associates.