Port Arthur Collaboration Targets High-Demand Job Training

AUSTIN, May 9, 2015 - Team Fabricators LLC is partnering with Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas (Southeast Texas) and the Port Arthur Economic Development Corp. (PAEDC) to provide custom training in welding to current employees. The training is made possible by Southeast Texas through a $75,000 Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) High Demand Job Training grant which will be leveraged with matching funds from the PAEDC and employer contributions.

Chairman Alcantar poses with trainees

On May 7, TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar (second from left) poses with trainees of the High Demand Job Training program at Team Fabricators in Port Arthur. Representatives from Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas, the Port Arthur Economic Development Corp. and local dignitaries attended a grant announcement at Team Fabricators and received a tour of the training facility and a welding demonstration.

“Through these collaborations, TWC, our local boards and economic development partners leverage resources to equip Texas workers with high-demand skills while meeting the needs of employers,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar.

This capacity-building grant will be used to provide on-the-job training to approximately 24 trainees over a 12-month period to meet the demand for qualified welders at Team Fabricators. Upon completion of training, participants will be paid $14 to $20 an hour.

“For several years now we’ve been faced with an ever growing shortage of skilled welders and fabricators,” said Team Fabricators Plant Manager David Cherry. “This initiative is the perfect vehicle to address that shortage.”

Through this partnership, the group’s goal was to implement a strategic effort to bridge the gap between the employer community and job seekers and increase the skill sets needed for employment of Port Arthur residents.

“Bringing together the resources of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corp., Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas, and the sponsoring employer - Team Industries, Inc., a customized program was designed to meet the needs of the employer and at the same time provide an opportunity to enhance the skills of local residents,” said Southeast Texas Executive Director Marilyn Smith.

This TWC grant is part of a $1 million statewide effort to support collaborations between Workforce Solutions partners and local economic development entities to create occupational job training programs that will improve the skill sets of individuals for jobs in high-demand occupations in Texas communities. Southeast Texas was the first local workforce development board to form a partnership to use available grant funding to address a local training need.

Through the High Demand Job Training Program, local workforce development boards can apply for up to $75,000 from TWC to be matched by local economic development corporations over the next two years while funds are available. For more on this training program, businesses are encouraged to contact their local Workforce Solutions office or visit www.twc.state.tx.us/high-demand-job-training-program.

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