(WACO, Texas) – The Texas Mutual Insurance Co.’s $150,000 grant awarded in late 2020 through The TSTC Foundation to Texas State Technical College means that students can continue to learn technical skills quickly and receive assistance to ease life’s burdens.
The college’s Rapid Industry Skills and Employability (RISE) program will receive $100,000 of the grant. The program began last fall in select technical programs to give an opportunity for people to learn skills in 15 weeks or less so they can enter a new career field.
“Because of the seriousness of the COVID-19 unemployment crisis and the overall economic crisis in Texas, we put into place these RISE awards in about 45 days from concept to delivery,” said Hector Yanez, TSTC’s senior vice president of Student Learning. “Something of this caliber would normally take over a year to develop and put into the market. However, with teamwork and support, we made this happen and are very proud of the accomplishment.”
The money will be used to provide partial tuition, books and supplies that may be needed for students who are interested in pursuing an occupational skills award in the RISE program.
Yanez said there was limited startup for the program, which began last fall, but additional support was needed to continue to help more Texans in need and expand occupational skills awards to more programs.
“TSTC is very fortunate to receive this grant, but most importantly it is the students that will benefit the most,” Yanez said. “The RISE program is truly an opportunity for everyone. Whether you are unemployed, lost your job due to COVID-19, or just looking for an opportunity to upskill your talents, there is an opportunity for all.”
During the spring semester, occupational skills awards will be offered in:
- Basic Automotive, Basic Industrial Systems and Basic Plumbing: Waco;
- Basic Industrial Systems: Marshall;
- Basic Welding – Multiple Processes: Abilene, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas and Waco;
- Basic Electromechanical Automation: Harlingen;
- Basic Machining: Waco, Fort Bend County and Marshall;
- Basic Accounting and Bookkeeping, Basic Cybersecurity, Basic Mechanical, Architecture Drafting and Design, and Basic Web Design: Statewide.
The remaining $50,000 of the grant will go to the Helping Hands scholarship.
“A profound number of TSTC students lack the financial resources to keep them afloat while pursuing their education,” said Beth Wooten, chief executive officer of The TSTC Foundation. “Some students will drop out because they have to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or going to school. This grant ensures that there will be emergency funds available to those in dire need.”
The grant is part of $2.875 million awarded statewide by the Austin-based Texas Mutual Insurance Co. to aid workforce development initiatives and help communities during the pandemic.
“We have a deep commitment to building a stronger, safer Texas, and through our partnerships with organizations across the state, we’re able to deliver on that commitment,” said Jeremiah Bentley, vice president of marketing and community affairs at Texas Mutual. “These partnerships help us keep our finger on the pulse when needs arise in our communities.”
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.