Training program will boost employment in construction industry

3/1/2002 12:00 AM

Close to 80 graduating high school students will receive the training and contacts needed to secure a job operating heavy equipment. Over 400 already employed in the construction industry, but needing more training to advance their careers, will get it. And both groups will receive the valuable training for free.

This statewide employment boost has been made possible through an innovative collaboration between the public and private sector.

The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) has received a $795,110 heavy equipment operator job training grant from the Texas Workforce Skills Development Fund to custom train workers who will fill 542 new or upgraded jobs.

“Skills Development Fund grants provide a golden opportunity for both employers and workers by giving employers a skilled labor force,” said Ron Lehman, TWC Commissioner Representing Employers. “Meanwhile, workers get specialized training they need to advance their careers.”

During the five-week high school program, TEEX will deliver training in seven Texas cities in collaboration with the local school districts, contractors, and transportation agencies. Upon completion, these former high school students will be qualified to accept jobs that offer higher than average wages as operators of excavating and loading machines, dozers, and more. Classes will begin in June in Beaumont, Eagle Mountain Lake (for Fort Worth-area students), El Paso, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Uvalde and Wichita Falls.

The program designed to help those already employed in the construction industry move up the career ladder through advanced training is being offered statewide, for the second year.

“This is a great example of the life-changing impact that can be made when the public and private sector come together,“ says Jack Pettyjohn, TEEX business development manager. “And not only will this program impact those it trains, but citizens statewide, by fueling the Texas economy.”

Along with TEEX and the TWC, program participants include the Texas Association of General Contractors, Texas Department of Transportation, SkillsUSA-VICA, and the school districts of each community where training is provided.

Contact Information

Kathy Fraser

Associate Director of Marketing and Communications

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