Category Archives: Community and Economic Development

Richland College Unveils Innovative ‘Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing’ Center on Campus
Joe May and Kay Eggleston standing at a podium.

Dr. Joe May and Dr. Kay Eggleston speak at the opening of the Richland College TEAM Center, April 21, 2016. Photo by Keenan Cobb.

The Richland College Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center had its grand opening yesterday, advancing the college’s mission of teaching, learning and community building. The new TEAM Center also addresses the need to contribute to the growth of the current and future Dallas economy by developing human capital success of key regional industries and employers.

With leading edge, industry-quality technology, the Richland College TEAM Center offers students hands-on learning experiences and delivers career-focused training leading to high-demand jobs in engineering, electrical engineering technology, electronics technology and advanced manufacturing.

Funding for the TEAM Center design, renovation and equipment was made possible through the $1.5 million portion of equipment funding provided by a $3.2 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor; more than $2.7 million from the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Chancellor’s Career Ladder Funds; $1.6 million from Richland College’s institutional funds; and a gift of $500,000 from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) to fund the newly-redesigned electrical engineering technology programs at Richland, Eastfield and Mountain View colleges.

“The TEAM Center is fully equipped to provide students exceptional hands-on, industry-specific, degree-focused, problem-based learning experiences and career training with stackable industry-recognized certifications,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president.

President Eggleston and Dr. Joe May, DCCCD chancellor, presided at the open house and ribbon cutting, with special guests including Dr. Peter Balyta, president of Texas Instruments Education Technology, and Edgar Garcia, Workforce Development Specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The leadership of Dallas County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Joe May has been paramount in the success of the significant public-private partnerships necessary to make this TEAM Center possible,” said Eggleston. “Chancellor May is deeply committed to improving the Dallas economy by helping to grow middle-class jobs to jump start new economic investment and job creation.”

The TEAM Center was designed by Aaron Farmer, Yvette Jarvis and Fred Peña of Booziotis & Company Architects. Also involved in the design and construction process were David Boon and Ken Fulk, project engineers with Reed, Wells, Benson and Company; Jacob Williams, project manager, and Danny Purselley, project superintendent, with Byrne Construction Services; Judy Lembke, construction manager with Lemco Construction Services; and Clyde Porter, DCCCD associate vice chancellor/district architect, and Jean Hill, DCCCD project manager.

The advanced manufacturing program at Richland College prepares students for entry-level manufacturing positions through an associate degree, three certificates and two skills achievement awards. The electrical engineering technology degree and electronics technology degree prepare students for technician-level employment in semiconductor, electronics and related industries through an associate degree or a certificate.


Richland College Selected for 2015 Richardson ‘EDGE’ Award
Woman talking at a podium.

Richland College President Kay Eggleston speaks at the check-signing ceremony at the Associa Shared Services Center in October, 2014.

Richland College was the recipient of the 2015 Richardson EDGE Public/Non-Profit/Education Award, recognizing the college’s success at securing a $450,000 Skills Development grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to train employees of Associa, the largest homeowner association management firm in the U.S., which moved its operations to Richardson in 2014.

In October 2014, the Texas Workforce Commission presented Richland College with a $449,988 Skills Development Fund grant to train 222 new hires and 79 incumbent workers at the Associa Shared Services Center. Since then, Richland College has trained 60% of the Associa workforce in customer service, supervisor leadership, Lean office processes, Microsoft Excel and accounting classes.

Sheridan Nixon, a Richland College program services specialist for workforce development, has coordinated the training, working closely with Associa to schedule classes and ensure the company’s training needs are being met.

Several people posing with the award“Meeting with stakeholders and learning the culture of Associa enabled me to provide the highest level of customer service,” said Nixon. “This built trust and produced success.”

The training provided by Richland College has allowed Associa employees the opportunity to learn new skills that can be translated into their jobs and allowed them to advance their dreams and career goals. This aligns with Associa’s commitment to employee training and Richland College’s commitment to providing quality, customized workforce education, thus integrating business prosperity for Associa, individual achievement for its employees and community success for Richardson.
“EDGE is an acronym for Economic Development, Growth and Expansion,” said Richardson chamber president and CEO Bill Sproull. “The Richardson Chamber of Commerce and the City of Richardson have been recognizing companies with EDGE awards for 30 years as a way of thanking them for their contributions to the local economy. When companies make an investment in our community, and they are successful, we all benefit. We want these businesses to know how much we appreciate the impact they have on our city.”

EDGE is an initiative of the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP), a joint effort between the Richardson Chamber of Commerce and the City of Richardson. Each year the REDP, chamber of commerce and the Richardson rotaries recognize Richardson companies and organizations that have achieved extraordinary success or made a significant investment in Richardson.

Associa was founded in 1979 by Texas State Senator John Carona and is North America’s largest community association management firm with more than 150 branch offices worldwide. The company serves homeowner associations of all types, including condo, mixed-use, master-planned, luxury high-rise, active-adult, resort and golf communities.


Richland College Receives $500,388 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony
Several people surround a large check.

Representatives from Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association, Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony Wednesday morning at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $500,388 Skills Development Fund Grant by the TWC. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association (DCMA), Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony Wednesday morning at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $500,388 Skills Development Fund Grant from the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College to train 285 employees, totaling more than 9,278 training hours, for companies including Garrett Metal Detectors; Interceramic; Plastipak Packaging, Inc.; Sanden Vendo; SilverLine by Andersen and Van Rob. Employees being trained will include manufacturing and production supervisors and technicians, purchasing clerks and human resource personnel.

Training under the grant includes AutoCAD, process improvement, electrical basics and troubleshooting, hydraulics, blueprint reading, Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma Green Belt, CPR/first aid/AED, project management and Microsoft Office. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average hourly wage of $21.71.

“This grant enables our partnership to expand technical and non-technical training to the employees at six Garland-area and regional manufacturing companies, continuing to leverage our abilities to grow manufacturing capabilities in the Garland area and contributing to a skilled Texas workforce and growing economic base in our local area, region and state,” said Richland College President Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D.

Event speakers included Eggleston, Richland College Garland Campus Director of Corporate and Community Relations Konley Kelley, TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronald G. Congleton, SilverLine by Andersen Human Resources Manager Marvin Fisher and Garland Chamber and DCMA CEO Paul Mayer.

“Our Skills Development Fund grant serves everyone well,” said Congleton. “Workers get the specialized training they need, and the communities benefit from a more highly skilled workforce.”


Richland College Offers On-Site Training and Potential for Advancement to Associa Employees
JJ Moreno poses in a cubicle with his three certificates.

JJ Moreno, lead accountant at Associa, posts on his cubicle his three certificates of completion for on-site training from Richland College. Photograph by Paul Knudsen.

At the Associa Shared Services Center in Richardson, Tex., many of the cubicles in the open concept office are adorned with certificates of completion from Richland College. They serve as points of pride, showcasing that the holders are furthering their education. The certificates and the training completion they represent provide the potential for career advancement for the several hundred people who show up for work each day at this Associa location.

Last October, The Texas Workforce Commission presented Richland College with a $449,988 Skills Development Fund grant to train 222 new hires and 79 incumbent workers at the Associa Shared Services Center. Since then, Richland College has been providing the workers with classes on customer service, supervisor leadership, Lean office processes, Microsoft Excel and accounting.

“Overall, everyone is very happy with it. They take pride in the fact they’ve gone, post the certificate on their board, discuss who goes next and what sessions are available,” said Eric Blanchard, director of client accounts payable for Associa. “On the job side, they’re looking for ways to apply their learning. I get folks who have attended the Lean session and are trying to figure out how they can apply it to a project they’re working on. They don’t just want to take the course. They want to take it to that next step.”

Stephanie Taylor, director of data management organization at Associa, agreed. “[The employees] have been excited about the fact that they can see we’re investing in them, and that’s always a big bonus in regards to morale and building that sense of support and team spirit for them,” she said.

From the employees’ perspective, the training has not only allowed them the opportunity to learn new skills that can then be translated back to their jobs, but it has also provided them a way to further their dreams and career goals.

JJ Moreno, a lead accountant with Associa, said it felt good to be getting continuing education credit with Richland College because it’s helping him achieve his goals. With the training, Moreno is hoping to build his career with Associa and move up within the company. So far, the classes have helped him not only polish his skills, but they have also allowed him to approach problem solving from new angles.

“The classes have been a lot of help because they definitely make me think twice before I act in a certain way,” said Moreno. “I now try to always approach things in a different way so that I can get a better outcome.”

Debbie Simpson, the tax and banking manager, might be Associa’s biggest advocate for the training provided by Richland College. Not only has she completed multiple sessions herself, but she was also instrumental in ensuring her employees were the first group to complete the customer service training.

“I haven’t heard anything negative about the training,” said Simpson. “I’ve heard them say, ‘oh, I want to take that class!’ or ‘I want to do this!’ It’s very valuable to the company and the team.”

“I think it’s a great opportunity we have as a company to have this training available,” Simpson continued. “If we’re having this training offered to us, we need to utilize it.”

Simpson places a priority on ensuring her staff has opportunities to grow in their careers and hopes the training will allow her to promote more employees from within her department.

“You want the success of your staff so they can move up and do better things,” Simpson said.

Overall, the management team at the Associa Shared Services Center echoes Simpson’s sentiments on the training and how it has affected not only the skillsets of their employees, but the morale of the company as a whole.

“To me, it’s been exciting,” said Blanchard. “That’s a good word for it. As a manager, seeing employees excited about attending a course and figuring out how they can leverage that going forward is great.”

Associa was founded in 1979 by Texas State Senator John Carona and is North America’s largest community association management firm with more than 150 branch offices worldwide. The company serves homeowner associations of all types, including condo, mixed-use, master-planned, luxury high-rise, active-adult, resort and golf communities.


Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman-Sachs-10KSB

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a program for small businesses that links learning to action. Through the program, participants will gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing and employee management that can immediately be put into action. In addition, they will receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take their business to the next level.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​Find out how to:

  • Create and execute a growth plan
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities
  • Understand financial statements
  • Hire, retain and lead employees
  • Negotiate successfully
  • And more

Across the U.S., 10,000 Small Businesses graduates are increasing their revenues and creating new jobs in their communities:

  • 64 percent of participants reported an increase in revenues
  • 45 percent reported creating new jobs
  • 80 percent are doing business with each other
  • The program also has a 99 percent completion rate.

Selected applicants will gain access to a world-class business education and connections to a professional support network at no cost. Find out more about the program and register here.


Richland College Partners with Texas Workforce Commission to Offer ‘Skills for Small Business’ Program

Boutique salesperson placing open sign on windowRichland College recently partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to offer the “Skills for Small Business” program, providing free or reduced cost training for Texas-based small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Training through this program will help private, for-profit businesses become more competitive by increasing employee skills.

“Richland College is committed to not just helping our students learn new, valuable skills, but also helping our local community by providing area businesses with valuable training for their employees,” said Judy Guerra, a project leader for continuing education at Richland College.

When a qualifying small business identifies a training need, courses may be selected based on classes offered at Richland College. “Skills for Small Business” will provide tuition and fees for employees who participate in an existing course applicable to a business need. Up to $1,450 may be approved for newly hired workers and exiting employees may be eligible for up to $725. Newly hired workers include those who were hired within 12 months prior to receipt of the application.

“Providing small business owners the skilled workforce they need helps build a healthy local economy,” said Andres Alcantar, TWC chairman. “We recognize the important role of small businesses in their communities and are committed to their success throughout the state of Texas.”

Since its inception in 2010, “Skills for Small Business” has funded training for more than 370 new and more than 2,400 incumbent workers from more than 425 small businesses throughout Texas.

To register, small businesses should apply directly to TWC for training approval at www.texasworkforce.org/ssb.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. Information, including offered courses, is available at www.richlandcollege.edu.


Richland College Receives $629,602 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony
Congleton signs a check with Kay Eggleston.

TWC commissioner Congleton as Richland College president Kay Eggleston looks on.

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association (DCMA), Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony Friday morning at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $629,602 Skills Development Fund Grant from the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College Garland Campus to train 334 employees at DCMA member companies including Ecolab, General Dynamics, J&A Manufacturing, Kraft Foods, Karlee, Marlow Industries and Micropac Industries, Inc., equating to a total of 12,320 training hours.

“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area manufacturers place in us as a dependable, experienced high-quality, results-focused skills training partner,” said Richland College President Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D. “We always remain ready and willing to serve.”

Event speakers included Eggleston, Richland College Garland Campus Director of Community and Chamber Relations Tandy Dollar, TWC Commissioner Ronald G. Congleton, Micropac Industries CEO/President Mark King and Garland Chamber and DCMA CEO Paul Mayer.

When Congleton addressed the audience, he cited recent unemployment facts, including that Texas has added 457,000 new jobs in the last year, resulting in an unemployment rate of just 4.6 percent. He also mentioned how a skilled workforce receiving higher wages would ultimately help the state economy.

“I’m proud that this grant, that the great work that Richland College has done to put this all together and the consortium of employers here today that are partnering in the grant,” said Congleton. “These are good jobs in which 334 workers will be trained, and they will see an average wage increase of 2 percent upon completion of training.”

Richland College Garland Campus is an award-winning Dallas County Community College District community campus focused on workforce training and development. Training is provided for individuals who are entering the workforce for the first time and for those currently employed who want to enhance their skillsets.


Richland College Joins Forces with Local Electronics Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partners
Richland College president Dr. Kay Eggleston speaks at the first Employer Advisory Committee for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant on Oct. 28.

Richland College president Dr. Kay Eggleston speaks at the first Employer Advisory Committee for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant on Oct. 28.

Richland College held its first Employer Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting to address the recently awarded Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant on Oct. 28. This meeting began the process of creating career ladders to give TAACCCT grant participants opportunities for employment in electronics technology and advanced manufacturing.

“This meeting marked the beginning of a major collaboration between Richland College and our community’s electronics technology and advanced manufacturing industry partners,” said Garth Clayton, Richland College’s dean of resource development. “We look forward to working closely with these partners to create enhanced training capacity, new credentialing opportunities and hundreds of highly skilled employees for stable middle-class jobs. Richland College welcomes all employers in these industries to become involved with us and benefit from this extraordinary opportunity.”

In addition to representatives from Richland College, business professionals from local industries were present, including but not limited to manufacturing, technology and healthcare. The businesses present are committed to working with Richland College to assist with the grant. The goal of the meeting was to provide these EAC members with an overview of the Veterans-Focused Engineering Technology Project (VFETP) that will be funded by the grant.

The VFETP will address industries that require trained workers in electronics technology and advanced manufacturing. When Richland College initially filed its application for the TAACCCT grant, there were 990 open jobs in these industries in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. While the program makes a special effort to reach veterans, it is not limited to ex-military and will be open to anyone who is eligible to participate.

The grant funding of $3.25 million will allow for three years of activity, followed by one year of data collection. Programs involved in the funding include manufacturing, electronics technology, advanced design, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and electromechanical maintenance.

Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas is a key collaborator in the project, through referrals of potential students and also data collection.

“Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas is pleased to partner with Richland College to help members of our community secure employment in advanced manufacturing,” said Laurie Larrea, president of Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas. “Richland has a sound plan, and all the right people are at the table to carry it out. I expect this to be a win-win situation for individuals in our community and our employers as well.”

For information on this initiative, contact Garth Clayton at 972-238-6357 or gclayton@dcccd.edu.


Richland College Receives $449,988 Skills Development Fund Grant to Train Associa Employees in Richardson

Representatives from Richland College, the Texas Workforce Commission, Associa and the City of Richardson pose with a check for a grant intended to train Associa employees. From left: Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar; Richland College Garland Campus Dean of Resource Development Shellie Heard; Texas State Senator and Associa President; CEO and Chairman John Carona; Richland College President Kay Eggleston; and Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka.Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the City of Richardson and Associa representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony Wednesday morning at the Associa Shared Services Center in Richardson to award Richland College with a $449,988 Skills Development Fund Grant by the TWC.

The grant will be used by the Richland College Garland Campus to train 222 new hires and 79 incumbent workers at Associa’s Shared Services Center. Employees will begin their training next week.

“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area businesses and industries place in us as an experienced, dependable, high-quality and results-focused skills and workforce training provider,” said Richland College President Kay Eggleston. “We continue to remain ready and willing to serve the training and education needs of our community, and we look forward to meeting and exceeding your expectations for workforce training with Richardson businesses and industry partners such as Associa.”

Event speakers included Eggleston; Richland College Garland Campus Dean of Resource Development Shellie Heard; TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar; Texas State Senator and Associa Shared Services Center President, CEO and Chairman John Carona; and Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka.

More than 300 of Associa’s Shared Services Center employees also attended the ceremony, where they learned more about how the grant would affect them and their employer.

“It helps you acquire the skills that are going to be necessary to do a job that is needed in the facility right behind us and allow this company to continue to create opportunities for the new people that will be coming in next week and next month,” Alcantar said to the Associa employees in attendance. “Go out there and get the job done.”

“This generous grant from the Texas Workforce Commission will give our employees the skills they need to provide unsurpassed service, as well as to help strengthen the Richardson business community, said Carona. “We are grateful—very grateful—for this unprecedented opportunity, the first of its kind not only for Associa, but for our industry as a whole.”

“On behalf of the entire Associa family this morning, I would sincerely like to thank the Texas Workforce Commission, Richland College and of course the City of Richardson for this unique opportunity,” said Carona. “Thank you all so much.”

Associa is North America’s largest community association management firm with more than 150 branch offices in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The company serves homeowner associations of all types, including condo, mixed-use, master-planned, luxury high-rise, active-adult, resort and golf communities.


Richland College Awarded $3.25 Million Grant From U.S. Department of Labor

DALLAS – Richland College, of the Dallas County Community College District, is one of only two Texas institutions awarded a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor during a ceremony hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Washington, D.C., on Mon., Sept. 29.

This $3.25 million grant will help equip Richland College train Texans who require new job skills for immediate employment. By leveraging Richland’s existing manufacturing and electronics technology programs, partnerships with 14 Dallas employers, the City of Garland, the City of Richardson and the Metroplex Technology Business Council with TAACCCT grant funds, the Veterans-Focused Engineering Technology Project (VFETP) will meet the needs of local veterans and others who seek training to enter or re-enter the local job market.

The VFETP offers associate degrees (with credit-applicable education or experience) in manufacturing and electronics technology. The program also will offer certificates in electromechanical maintenance, advanced design for manufacturing, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The curricula will follow national credentialing standards from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and the International Society of Certified Electronic Technicians (ISCET). Richland College’s employer partners include Alexandria Industries; Atlas Copco; the City of Richardson, Texas; DW Distribution; Garland Power & Light; Kenney Industries; Oncor; QT Manufacturing; Raytheon; Romeo Engineering; Smart GeoMetrics; Texas Instruments; the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; the North Texas chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Association; and the Metroplex Technology Business Council. Richland College will collaborate with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas to identify potential students, including veterans, as well.

The employer partners have committed to hiring program completers, supporting curriculum development, offering internships and providing on-the-job training for students.

Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston, president of Richland College, said, “With TAACCCT funds, Richland College is strategically positioned to bridge critical gaps of two kinds: one between the workforce and specialized employment training and the other between that workforce and local employer needs. The VFETP is designed to help Texans access training, to help them succeed in completing training and to match program completers with jobs in growing industries.”

Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor, said, “The Dallas County Community College District focuses on job-driven training and and partnerships that can help rebuild America’s middle class. The grant received by Richland College means that we can train students – veterans, in particular – in fields that will continue to grow and which offer jobs now in the fields of advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and electronics manufacturing. We support economic and workforce development, and this grant enables Richland College to involve industry partners, support our communities and assist veterans as they seek good jobs and re-enter the workforce.”

Richland College’s grant funding is part of the larger TAACCCT competitive grant program co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the U.S. Department of Education. ETA announced 71 new grants under this program to single-institution applications and intra-state consortiums across the nation. The purpose of TAACCCT grants is to close educational gaps between potential employees and employers in growing industries, such as advanced manufacturing.

“Community colleges play a vital role in training Americans to meet the needs of employers today,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive….These grants help meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships.”

Watch the grant announcement ceremony:

For more information about Richland’s manufacturing and electronics technology programs, visit http://www.richlandcollege.edu/engineeringtech/ and http://www.richlandcollege.edu/certs/manufacturingTechnology and or contact Martha Hogan, executive dean, Richland College School of Engineering, Business and Technology, by email at mhogan@dcccd.edu or by phone at (972) 238-6210.