$500,000 Grant to Del Mar College Provides Short-Term Programs for Workforce Training
Del Mar College received a $500,000 grant through the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education, which ultimately led to funding career training programs for high-demand professions.
The TRUE grant will allow the college to accommodate career training through short-term programs that students can achieve in three to six months or less, said Leonard Rivera, dean of continuing education and off-campus programs. The grant will run through September 2022.
‘The TRUE Grant allows Del Mar College to provide career training through innovative short-term educational programming that students can complete within three to six months or less. It led to a state or national industry certification and a DMC Workforce Skills Award. In addition, it allowed all completed coursework to ‘stack’ or convert toward other related Del Mar certificates and associates degree programs. As stated, the college can prepare students for careers quickly and accurately with the necessary job skills and credentials required by industry for immediate employment. And, the best part of this initiative is this grant covers all tuition and fees for the targeted programs of study.’ Dr. Leonard Rivera said additionally.
“This past regular session, I co-authored SB 1102 to stabilize the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Program to support workforce education. To get Texans back to work in high-demand professions and quicken the Texas economic recovery,” said Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa.
Hinojosa said in a statement that $26 million in federal funding was used for the first round of TRUE grants.
And also expect another round next year after the Texas Legislature allocated an additional $15 million from the state’s share of federal ARPA funds.
Rivera said the impact from the grant is tremendous for the Coastal Bend as the community proceeds to recover from the pandemic’s effect on the workforce.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) rallies the state’s public community, technical and junior colleges to help fast-track residents into the workforce. Through the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Institutional Capacity Grant, 46 of the state’s two-year colleges share $26 million to help students impacted by COVID-19. In addition, they provide short-term postsecondary workforce certifications training programs that target high-demand fields to strengthen the economy of Texas.
THECB funding for the TRUE grant comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, which arises from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
Del Mar College’s continuing learning programs selected for short-term training in Corpus Christi and Aransas County align with Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend’s Targeted Occupations List for 2019-2021 and tendencies drafted by the Texas Workforce Commission for both Texas and the Coastal Bend.
These programs connect with high demand for occupation, including:
- Medical care: Certified Nurse Aid, Electrocardiography, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Secretary, Patient Care Technician, and Phlebotomy
- Professional Skills: Accounting Clerk (Bookkeeper), Geographic Information Systems, Legal Secretary, Management Development (Supervision), and Supply Chain Management
- Trade Industry: Automotive, Building Maintenance, Carpentry (Basic), Electrical Wiring, HVAC, Millwright, Plumbing (Basic), and Welding
Careers include medical billing and coding, supply chain management, and welding.
These short-term programs vary from four to 16 weeks to complete, and programmatic sequencing allows students to be on-board into exact study fields without previous knowledge or skills development. Additionally, whether they provide certification or WSAs (Workforce Skills Awards), these CE programs allow students to achieve immediate employment during or upon completion.
Del Mar College allows various course delivery methods, including face-to-face learning, remote learning, e-learning, and hybrid formats. Mode of delivery is dictated by industry certification or licensing requirements that require hands-on training and curriculum, laboratories, tools/equipment utilization, simulators, and software associated with each program.
Already part of a TRUE pilot program initiated earlier this year by the Texas Association of Community College’s Texas Success Center, Del Mar College received an “Award of Excellence” on Nov. 4 for its participation in the initial effort to streamline CE programming to put Texas residents on the fast-track into the workforce.
With the funds the TRUE grant provides and the pilot program now completed, the infrastructure for that track is now laid at Del Mar College.
Dr. Rivera noted that this grant’s impact is massive for the Coastal Bend as they continue to recover from the pandemic’s effect on their workforce and work toward further economic development in their region. By preparing students with training that aligns with in-demand jobs available now and those they expect in the future, they can manage the needs of employers representing medical care, construction, and manufacturing and the challenges they experience recognizing skilled workers. Significantly as patient workloads increase in area healthcare facilities; home, apartment, and retail developments continue expanding; and increased demands stretch availability of petrochemical and other supplies among their regional manufacturing plants.
Dr. Rivera additionally said that the TRUE grant would increase their pipeline of skilled workers produced for the industries identified with the most current needs. But, they always consider the future, and they will modify to train the Coastal Bend workforce as those demands shift.
As stated, the college can prepare students for professions quickly and precisely with the requisite job skills and credentials required by industry for immediate employment. And the best part of this initiative is this grant covers all tuition and fees for the targeted programs of study.
Del Mar College’s continuing learning programs selected for short-term training in Corpus Christi and Aransas County line up with Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend’s Targeted Occupations List for 2019-21 and the Texas Workforce Commission’s trends for Texas the Coastal Bend.