Entergy Texas Announces $600,000 Workforce Development Initiative
BEAUMONT, March 13, 2017 - Any graduate knows the feeling of accomplishment. The feeling of attaining success in spite of the odds and knowing that opportunity lies ahead. Thousands of students across Southeast Texas will soon know that feeling thanks to a landmark donation from Entergy Texas, Inc.
Southeast Texas’ growing economy requires a skilled workforce to continue powering that growth. Today, Entergy Texas announced a major step to build that talent pipeline with a $500,000 commitment to support local workforce development training programs. Entergy Texas’ contribution is the first step in a five-year commitment to supporting workforce development efforts across Southeast Texas.
In addition to Entergy Texas’ contribution, another $97,293 will come from the Texas Workforce Commission in the form of a matching Texas Industry Partnership (TIP) program grant, the first such grant given from a recently dedicated $1 million fund to address skills gaps and ensure a talent pipeline is available to address regional industry needs.
This contribution goes beyond just funding organizations. It is a partnership with numerous state and local educational and job-focused organizations to bring the nationally-recognized Jobs for America’s Graduates to Southeast Texas – the first JAG program in Texas. JAG is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk.
“At Entergy, our customers and communities are central to our success. We are only successful if we are helping our communities succeed,” said Sallie Rainer, president and CEO of Entergy Texas. “Today’s announcement is a major step towards creating opportunities for students across our region.”
“We are pleased to present the first Texas Industry Partnership grant between Entergy and Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas, which will provide specialized training in high-demand industries to workers and expand the talent pipeline for employers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “These training programs will continue to keep our Texas businesses competitive
A centerpiece of the effort is the creation of the first JAG program in Texas. JAG is a 35-year-old nationally recognized program that works to support at-risk students in high school and also offers dropout recovery programs to those who have left school. Beaumont Independent School District and the Port Arthur Independent School District will each receive $75,000 to host programs for at-risk students in their schools. Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT) and Lamar State College-Port Arthur will host dropout recovery programs at their campuses.
To support the programs at the two colleges, Entergy will contribute $100,000 which will be matched by the Texas Workforce Commission. The TIP program grant of $97,293 will go to Workforce Solutions of Southeast Texas which will then provide the funds to Region 5, the administrator for the two college-based programs. Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas partnered with Entergy and Region 5 ESC to successfully apply for the TIP program grant from the state.
Additionally, LIT is receiving $150,000 for its dual credit program in which high school students are enrolled in college-level courses.
Lone Star College in Montgomery County is also a part of the initiative, receiving $100,000 for its Promise Scholarships. These scholarships provide “gap” funding, giving students the additional financial boost between their college funding and actual college costs. These scholarships are for students who are pursuing degrees or certification in the energy or light manufacturing sectors, which are the two growth sectors identified by economic development planners as being in highest demand for that region.
This effort is part of an overall $5 million, five-year commitment Entergy Corp. has made to support such efforts in the four-state area it serves.