$500,000 grant to Del Mar College provides short-term programs for workforce training

John Oliva
Corpus Christi Caller Times

Del Mar College received a $500,000 grant through the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education initiative  to fully fund career training programs for high-demand jobs.

The TRUE grant will allow the college to provide career training through short-term programs that students can complete 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.

“Simply stated, the college can prepare individuals for careers quickly and precisely with the requisite job skills and credentials required by industry for immediate employment," Rivera said. "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 education 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 2019-21 and trends outlined by the Texas Workforce Commission for both Texas and the Coastal Bend.

Travarious Ivy, 23, demonstrates the proper technique for donning personal protective equipment at Del Mar College on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. Ivy completed his certified nurse aide training thanks to a Texas Workforce Commission grant.

These programs correlate with high-demand fields, including health care, professional skills and the trade industry. Jobs include medical billing and coding, supply chain management and welding.

The short-term programs range from four to 16 weeks and allow students to gain immediate employment during or upon completion.

"This past regular session I co-authored SB 1102 to establish the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Program to support workforce education, to get Texans back to work in high-demand occupations, and accelerate 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.

"We expect another round next year, after the Texas Legislature allocated an additional $15 million from the state's share of federal ARPA funds,” he added.

Del Mar College offers various methods of course delivery, including face-to-face, remote or e-learning and hybrid formats.

Del Mar College's new state-of-the-art training lab will help the college’s workforce training programs. The funding came from a $1.5 million donation from Gulf Coast Growth Ventures in March 2019.

Through the TRUE grant, 46 of Texas' two-year colleges will share $26 million to assist students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing said short-term programs that target high-demand fields in the state.

Rivera said the impact from the grant is "enormous" for the Coastal Bend as the community continues to recover from the pandemic's effect on the workforce.

“The TRUE grant will increase our pipeline of skilled workers produced for the industries identified with the most current needs," Rivera said. "But we always have our eyes on the future, and we’ll adjust to train the Coastal Bend’s workforce as those demands shift.”

For more information about the programs, visit delmar.edu/continuing-education, call 361-698-2122 or email ce@delmar.edu.

MORE COVERAGE

More:Del Mar College's GCGV Process Technology Lab promises one-of-a-kind training

More:Workforce center offers promise of economic turnaround for post-Harvey Rockport

John Oliva covers education and community news in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times.