A five-member consortium of manufacturing businesses has partnered with Paris Junior College for job training using a $740,100 Skills Development Fund
grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Representatives from the businesses gathered for a check signing at the Sulphur Springs Economic Development Corporation
on Friday. Shown left to right are: Loren Seely with Aerospace Products of Aerostar International, Inc., Mark Glaze with Red River Compression Services, LLC, Jay Wilcoxson with
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Pam Britton and Brad Hoffman with Flowserve Corporation, Dr. Pam Anglin, President of Paris Junior College, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar,
Scott Brown with Morningstar Foods, LLC, and Hopkins County Judge Chris Brown.
PJC Receives a $740,100 Skills Development
Grant From The Texas Workforce Commission
The Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation hosted a check signing ceremony Friday morning for a five-member consortium of manufacturing businesses that have partnered with Paris Junior College for job training through a $740,100 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The businesses partnering in the grant include Aerostar Division of Raven Industries Inc., Red River Compression Services LLC, Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Morningstar Foods LLC, and Flowserve Corporation.
Paris Junior College President, Dr. Pam Anglin, introduced participants as well as newly-named Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission Andres Alacantar, who addressed the crowd.
“We really appreciate these companies doing business in Texas,” said Alcantar, “adding to the prosperity afforded to the families working for you. Our commitment is to work in partnership with our top community colleges that are so important to what we do.”
Alcantar explained that community colleges are essential to Texas’ strategy of workforce development and that they demonstrate an ability to respond to changes dictated by innovation of technology and the launch of new product lines. Training in occupations and in disciplines that align with what is happening in the State’s industries is crucial. These investments enable Texas to continue to be ranked as one of the top states in the nation in which to do business.
Next the recipients spoke, four from Sulphur Springs and one from Clarksville.
“We’re a very technically oriented company and this grant is extremely important because we can’t just go out on the street and hire,” said Loren Seely, Manufacturing Advisor for Aerostar Division of Raven Industries, Inc. “It is very important to have funds to train employees and hire people locally. NASA is our largest customer, as well as the U.S. government, and training is incredibly important for us.”
“Thank you for this continued partnership and assistance in creating a culture of improvement,” said Brad Hoffman, General Manager, Flowserve Corporation. “This kind of involvement helps ensure our long-term viability as a U.S.-based manufacturing company and a solid corporate citizen of the northeastern region of Texas. All things considered, our associates make us what we are. To the extent they possess the requisite skills, knowledge and experience, we will remain a market leader in the oil and gas industry for another 60 years.”
“The association we have with people like [PJC’s] Rita Pringle and Dr. Charles George, those individuals help bring things to us and give us the tools,” said Scott Brown, Manager, Human Resources, Morningstar Foods, LLC. “This month we hit an all-time record and our facility is very fortunate to have the technology we have.” Brown added that technology and continuous improvement is why they will have new product lines. “We have the land, the labor and the partnership with Texas Workforce and the college. We have a wonderful relationship.”
“Any time we can provide training for individuals for their own personal growth,” said Jay Wilcoxson, Operations Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries LLC, “well, that makes us stronger as a company, so once again, thank you.”
“We find it extremely beneficial to be a part of this,” said Mark Glaze, Chief Operating Officer of Red River Compression Services. “As a young company we were fortunate enough to make it through the economic downturn of the last few years. It’s important to be a part of a program to help fill some of the voids that had to be leaned out in times like that. We’re probably the youngest company involved but we’ve got big plans ahead. Without a program like this there would be no way we could bring to the table a quality training program of this magnitude. We’re happy we were sought out by Paris Junior College to be a part of this and happy for the opportunity.”
Dr. Anglin expressed appreciation to PJC staff for their hard work in securing the grant, a process that took about a year, as well as the college’s industry partners, and Texas Workforce Commission staff.
“Those folks work with us so well, they critique what we do to make it better and keep working with us, so thanks to the folks in Austin,” Dr. Anglin said.
The grant will be used to custom train 613 new and incumbent workers in the use of programmable control systems that will allow them to quickly change production lines, fillers, and packaging stations to accommodate a number of different products. Those trained will include machine operators, distribution and warehouse employees and maintenance technicians. Upon completion of training, the workers will earn an average hourly wage of $18.05.
For more information about custom training for businesses at Paris Junior College call 903-782-0447.