11/2/2009 12:00 AM
The Texas Workforce Commission has approved a $4.2 million grant for TEEX to provide emergency services training to more than 1,600 Texas workers. The largest grant ever awarded to TEEX by the TWC, the funds will be used to train employees from eight companies at 24 locations in Texas through the TEEX Emergency Services Energy Consortium Training Project. TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute will offer 30 different courses in industrial firefighting, rescue, HazMat, emergency medical services and leadership training.
“TWC was blown away by our flexibility, because we can offer training at Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station or at a customer’s site anywhere in Texas. And they were impressed with our top-notch curriculum, which is updated to the latest National Fire Protection Association standards and ready to go,” said Gordon Lohmeyer, ESTI Private Sector Program Director. “You could say that ESTI was staffed and poised to take advantage of this opportunity.”
“We have signed contracts with eight companies and we’re working with them on training schedules,” said Lohmeyer, who wrote the proposal, along with Ron Peddy of ESTI and Carla Collins of TEEX’s Technology & Economic Development division. The companies in the consortium are: Arkema, Chevron, Conoco, DuPont, Huntsman, Invista, Texas Petrochemicals and Valero. To participate, each company had to have multiple facilities or sites in Texas.
The skills development grant is for existing employees in the oil and gas industry who are on emergency response teams or industrial fire brigades. Grant funds will cover the tuition for Texas-based employees as well as consumables, such as fuel for fire training and course manuals. The companies can use the grant funding for the Annual Texas Fire Training School, open enrollment classes, corporate schools or company-sponsored training, Lohmeyer said.
“This is in a fantastic opportunity for TEEX to leverage our relationship with these companies to help them train their employees,” said Collins, Training Director with TED, who will perform the administrative services for the grant.
“The TWC grant couldn’t have come at a better time for TEEX and for our customers,” Lohmeyer added. “There is no doubt our customers will benefit from this training, not only from a compliance aspect but also from an economic standpoint. This training will give them the skills and competencies and identified leaders to keep them moving forward, so they will be poised for growth as economic conditions improve. Making these companies stronger helps the Texas economy.”