Press Release • South Texas College
South Texas College recently received an Apprenticeship Texas Expansion Grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in the amount of $593,934, which allows for the largest expansion of apprenticeships ever funded by a single grant.
With the grant, STC will expand 297 new apprenticeship programs, as well as create seven new registered apprenticeship programs and two new pre-apprenticeship programs this fall.
Registered apprenticeship programs through TWC are paid internships. The programs are defined as jobs in which an apprentice worker learns a skilled occupation through on-the-job training under the supervision of a journey-level craftsperson or trade professional combined with related classroom instruction.
TWC Commissioner representing labor Julian Alvarez has been a strong proponent of apprenticeships and workforce development during his tenure at TWC, which has designated over $4 million to employers, local education agencies, local workforce development boards and apprenticeship training committees to support apprenticeships in highly skilled careers and help train the workforce across the state.
“Apprenticeships create opportunities for Texas job seekers and employers by using an earn-while-you-learn model to develop a talented, dedicated workforce,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “TWC supports the expansion of Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Texas in many ways. One of which is the implementation of the Apprenticeship Texas Expansion Grant. With this grant's funding, South Texas College can now provide high-quality education and training to prepare the Rio Grande Valley’s workforce for high-demand, high-wage jobs.”
Maria Mendoza said she entered STC’s apprenticeship program in Construction Supervision to enhance her knowledge even though she has nearly two decades of experience in the industry.
“The apprenticeship program allowed for me to learn about another side of the construction industry I had little to no knowledge about,” Mendoza said. “I’d tell students to take advantage of all the opportunities that are out there because every day is an opportunity to learn something new.”
These funds add to the expansion of apprenticeship programs for employers in industry including those in advanced manufacturing, information and computer technology, business management and operation, construction, health care and information and computer technology.
The grant period runs through January 2024.
“Our latest Apprenticeship Texas Expansion Grant will support the creation of new registered apprenticeship programs that represent multi-industry, high-demand occupations in the Rio Grande Valley,” said STC Dean of Industry Training and Economic Development, Carlos Margo, Ph.D. “Apprenticeship programs are unique and critical for our workforce because they give the students paid, work-based learning opportunities while they are taking their related theoretical classroom instruction. No other organization or institution in South Texas has as many registered apprenticeship programs as South Texas College.”
The expansion grant is also significant because it adds brand-new health care-related registered apprenticeship programs which will be overseen by STC’s Department of Continuing Education.
This includes apprenticeships for electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians, phlebotomy technicians, medical administrative assistants, medical billing specialists and certified nursing assistants.
“Continuing Education is excited to be a part of this apprenticeship grant,” said Olivia De La Rosa, director of Professional and Workforce Education. “There is a big demand for health care workers and CDL drivers, and this grant will help us get people into good-paying jobs while also meeting employers’ needs.”
For more information on the program offered by STC’s Continuing, Professional and Workforce Education call 956-872-3585 or visit www.southtexascollege.edu/cpit/cpwe.html.