Category Archives: Community and Economic Development

A group of people surrounds Ruth R. Hughs as she holds a giant check for $705,439. Richland College Receives $705,439 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission and Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony Aug. 2 at Richland College Garland Campus.

Richland College was awarded a $705,439 Skills Development Fund grant by the Texas Workforce Commission to train 321 incumbent employees upgraded to new jobs and 32 new hires in essential industry-specific knowledge and skills. The grant will provide 13,649 training hours for seven Dallas County manufacturing companies to include Epiroc Drilling Solutions, LLC; Barnsco; Erect-A-Line; Brill, a CSM Bakery Solutions Company; Garrett Metal Detectors; Micropac Industries, Inc.; and Milano Hat Company.

Four of the partnering businesses are new SDF grant partners, and the other three businesses recently became re-eligible for funding after completing successful training programs through prior SDF grants.

The training provided under this grant will be completed during a 15-month period beginning Aug. 31, with the goal of improving processes and bridging technology and leadership skills gaps for the participating employers.

“We have gathered this afternoon to acknowledge our appreciation of the important industry training impact this $705,439 Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund grant is making possible through Richland College Garland Campus, where a dynamic tri-partnership continues to flourish among the Garland Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association and Richland College Garland Campus,” said Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, addressing the audience at the event. “This grant enables our triad to advance and expand both technical and non-technical training to employees at seven Garland and regional area manufacturing companies, continuing to leverage our capabilities to grow the economic base of Garland’s manufacturing sector businesses and contributing to a skilled Texas workforce and beyond.”

Ruth R. Hughs, TWC chair and commissioner representing employers of Texas, spoke about the partnership with DCMA and Richland College’s role in providing training to Garland and other north Texas-area businesses through previous SDF grants.

“[The Skills Development Fund program] really is our premiere job training program because it allows employers to get that customized curriculum to meet their needs, and it allows workers an opportunity to really expand their skillset and be able to be more competitive in the marketplace and be better employees,” said Hughs. “We find time and again that when the employers invest in their employees in these ways, the employees invest back, and you really do get a better-quality employee and you create a culture that everybody wants to be a part of.”

Micropac Industries, Inc., has previously received training from Richland College through an SDF grant. Chairman and CEO Mark King spoke about real-life results from this training, including last year when Lockheed required Micropac operators to have an IPC-A-610 certification to build optical sensors for missiles. To execute the contract successfully for the sensors and build them to Lockheed’s standards, 14 people went through IPC-A-610 previous SDF grant-funded training with Richland College, and all employees successfully passed the certification exam. As a direct result of this training, Micropac soon will be signing another contract with Lockheed.

Garland Chamber of Commerce and DCMA CEO Paul Mayer discussed how the chamber’s partnership with Richland College, along with the creation of the DCMA to meet the specific needs of manufacturers, has benefited not just area employers, but the City of Garland and its residents, including the creation of the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, where advanced-level career and technical education courses are provided to Garland Independent School District students.

“The city recognizes it in terms of how we build infrastructure, how we build housing, how we build all the things that industry needs,” said Mayer.

The SDF program at Richland College Garland Campus provides customized job-training programs for businesses who want to train new workers or upgrade the skills of their existing workforce. The program is a partnership among Richland College Garland Campus, TWC and community business partners. For additional information about the Skills Development Fund program, visit https://www.richlandcollege.edu/aboutrlc/garland-campus/pages/skills-development-fund.aspx.


TWCIT Consortium check-signing ceremony Richland College Receives $523,089 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), City of Richardson and local Richardson information technology industry representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony March 22 at Argo Data Resource, Inc. Richland College was awarded a $523,089 Skills Development Fund grant by the Texas Workforce Commission to train 197 IT employees, totaling more than 8,334 training hours, for Richardson’s first IT Consortium, consisting of Richardson employers Argo Data Resource, Inc., a financial and healthcare software company; GXA Network Solutions, an IT help support company; and the Wilkins Group, a telecommunication support company.

Training under the grant includes business technical, general technical and non-technical training in subjects ranging from specific software applications to accounting to customer service and more. In addition to training incumbent employees, this grant will add 21 new jobs to the IT Consortium companies.

“This training, delivered by Richland College Garland Campus, empowers employees through enhanced skill development and provides the companies with a competitive edge in an ever-changing global IT market,” said Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D.

At the ceremony, Eggleston also spoke about the impact this training will have on their employers and the local economy, as well as applauding each company involved for their dedication to enhancing the skills of their workforces and expanding the economic base of Richardson, the North Texas region and the state of Texas.

“Richland College appreciates the ongoing confidence the Texas Workforce Commission, the Richardson business community and company partners place in us as a dependable, experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider,” Eggleston said. “We remain ready and willing to serve.”

“Everything requires IT. That’s what makes what you’re doing here so impressive,” Texas Workforce Commission commissioner representing labor, Julian Alvarez, said. He addressed the gathered crowd and discussed technology’s rapid growth and change and how businesses statewide in all sectors require employees with IT skills, noting that Richland College has been listening to the local business community and providing customized training to fit the needs of these employers.

“The regional impact of this training, and the commitment by our three entities today, is $4.4 million in the local community, and that’s just one grant that we’re doing,” said Alvarez.

At Argo Data Resource, Inc., GXA Network Solutions and the Wilkins Group, training is already underway, with additional courses to be taught during the coming months.

“We’ve gained skills that we’re going to use to implement better IT projects and better IT solutions that will help build stronger Texas businesses,” said George Makaye, president of GXA Network Solutions.

Upon completion of this training, Richland College hopes to continue working with the Texas Workforce Commission to receive additional Skills Development Fund grants to offer training opportunities to additional Richardson-based IT businesses every six months.

“We are very thankful for the continued partnership between Richland College and the Texas Workforce Commission,” said Richardson mayor Paul Voelker. “During the past several years, their combined efforts have created millions of dollars in training opportunities for Richardson businesses, and this latest investment will serve as another prime example we will use to retain and attract jobs to our Telecom Corridor® area.”

The Richardson Economic Development Partnership, a joint initiative established by the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving local economy, has now assisted Richland College in facilitating Skills Development Fund grants totaling nearly $3 million to five Richardson companies since 2014.

“We’re thrilled that connections made through the chamber helped bring together Richardson businesses with this highly technical training,” said Richardson Chamber president Bill Sproull. “We’re proud of Richland College’s partnership in preparing our workforce for the valuable technical opportunities we continue to attract to Richardson.”

For additional information about the Skills Development Fund program with Richland College and the TWC, visit https://www.richlandcollege.edu/aboutrlc/garland-campus/pages/skills-development-fund.aspx.


Headshot of Kay Eggleston Richland College President Honored at Richardson State of the City Address

Richland College and its president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., were honored by Richardson mayor Paul Voelker during his Jan. 31 State of the City address as examples of the quality of education available locally in the Richardson area.

“[Eggleston] was one of 19 campus executives in the U.S. awarded last year’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction from Phi Theta Kappa, the world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year colleges,” said Voelker. “The award recognizes educators who advance the goals of academic scholarship, leadership and service.”

This distinguished higher education award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair. College presidents and campus CEOs are selected for this award based on outstanding efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa at their institutions. Nominees must have served as president at least five years at the current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure.

Along with Eggleston, Richland College was also recognized for being awarded more than $2 million in workforce training grants to support Richardson-based companies RealPage and Associa in delivering training programs to their employees. In addition, in support of Richardson’s “Telecom Corridor” legacy, Richland was credited for its exceptional science, technology, engineering, digital arts and math (STEAM) programs, particularly its partnership with Girls Inc. for an annual summer camp focused on young women to encourage them to pursue careers in robotics, digital arts and other STEAM-based programs. Also mentioned was Richland College’s vital role in college degree completion through its focused work with local primary and secondary school students and its dual credit course delivery in local high schools, which was expanded last year to include a study abroad program in China.


Richland College and Amazon Announce Partnership to Train Veterans in Cloud Computing
A large group of people posing together.

Representatives from Amazon, Richland College, Dallas County Community College District, and Texas State Sen. Don Huffines (second row, third from left) pose with members of the inaugural Richland College Amazon Web Services training class. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

Richland College and Amazon Web Services announced a partnership Monday to bring a new apprenticeship program to Dallas to train and hire veterans.

Through the program, veterans complete a 16-week certification program at Richland College, where they learn about cloud-based solutions and get practice using Amazon Web Services features. Upon completion of the courses at Richland College, students will then transition to one-year paid internships with Amazon, after which participants are guaranteed interviews for full-time positions with Amazon.

“Embarking on this new strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services will indeed enhance economic growth in the north Texas region, equip a skilled Texas workforce in information technology fields with emphasis on training and hiring veterans and expand Amazon’s growing presence and tremendous potential as a major employer in the Metroplex and beyond,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College.

At Richland College, highly trained and experienced computer information technology and cybersecurity faculty will provide certification preparation training in A+, Net+, Linux and more. Amazon has already selected 15 local veterans to participate in the first class.


Richland College Awarded $707,000 Grant to Train 549 New and Current Associa Employees

Seven people posing with a giant check.

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the City of Richardson and Associa representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Associa Shared Services Center in Richardson to award Richland College with a $707,696 Skills Development Fund Grant by the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College to train 549 new and current Associa employees that will advance their skills and improve the North Texas workforce.

From left to right: Chelle O’Keefe, executive vice president and CHRO, Associa, Inc.; Paul Voelker, mayor of Richardson; Texas State Rep. Linda Koop; Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president; John Carona, chairman of the board and CEO, Associa, Inc.; Ruth R. Hughs, commissioner representing employers, Texas Workforce Commission; Shellie Heard, dean of resource development, Richland College; and Ron Clark, vice president for business services, Richland College. Photo by Paul Knudsen.


Associa Partners with Richland College to Receive Company’s Largest Texas Workforce Commission Grant

Associa, the industry’s largest community management company, in partnership with Richland College, is proud to accept its largest educational grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The $707,000 training grant will provide the unique job training opportunity for more than 500 employees from the company’s north Texas region, including its Client Shared Services Center, home office and local management affiliate. The resources will be used to expand Associa’s employee education programs and specific job training that will advance employees’ skills and improve the North Texas workforce.

The courses are scheduled to begin this month and will continue throughout 2018. The curriculum will cover many facets of Associa’s core business, including accounting and financials, customer service and business communications.

“We are excited to accept this generous grant from the Texas Workforce Commission as it will provide our employees the opportunity to improve their skillset, advance their knowledge base and complete their jobs to the very best of their abilities,” stated Chelle O’Keefe, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Associa. “We are focused on providing a positive employee experience at Associa so that our employees choose to build their careers with us. By using this grant to expand our current educational programs, it will not only help strengthen Associa but also contribute to the continued success of the Richardson business community and local economy.”

“Richland College is pleased to partner again with Associa in advancing the skills of its workforce and the economic base of Richardson and North Texas,” stated Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston, Richland College president. “Richland College appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and Associa place in us as an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider.”

Associa and Richland College will be holding a check ceremony in honor of receiving the grant. The ceremony will be held at Associa’s Client Shared Service Center in Richardson, Texas, on June 15 at 3 p.m.

(Courtesy of Associa)


Richland College and RealPage Partner for over $1.3 Million Job-Training Grant

People posing with a large checkRealPage Inc. has partnered with Richland College to provide job training using a $1,323,223 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The grant will benefit workers in the Greater Dallas area.

“This partnership focuses on specialized technical skills training needed to support this high-demand industry in the Richland area,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “We are pleased to make this grant to RealPage and Richland College, which will provide technology training and help maintain a highly skilled workforce.”

This grant will be used to provide customized training for 700 new and incumbent workers for emerging information technology (IT) technologies with focused instruction on virtualization and cloud software, software supporting web-based application, project management and process control instruction. Trainees will include IT project managers, computer analysts, network support engineers, software engineers and technical writers. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average wage of $31.16.

Since its inception in 1996, the Skills Development Fund grants have created or upgraded more than 342,428 jobs throughout Texas. The grants have assisted 4,238 employers with their customized training needs. The Legislature allocated $48.5 million to the Skills Development Fund for the 2016-17 biennium. Employers seeking more information about the Skills Development Fund may visit the TWC website at
texasworkforce.org/skills.


Richland College Receives $804,845 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony

A group of people standing with a large check.Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony April 13 at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $804,845 Skills Development Fund Grant from the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College to create or update 430 jobs at nine Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association companies, including Aloe Vera of America; Altronic Controls; Ecolab; General Dynamics; Hatco; Marlow Industries; Sherwin Williams; Unity Manufacturing; and VEKA South, Inc.

Training under the grant includes AutoCAD, electrical basics and troubleshooting, hydraulics, ARC Flash, motor controls, Lean Manufacturing, CPR, Microsoft Office, project management, Six Sigma Green Belt and leadership.

“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area manufacturers place in us an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College. “We remain ready to anticipate and exceed expectations in training delivery for these business partners and other business partners in our Garland community and beyond.”

“Garland is extremely proud to be a manufacturing community,” said Paul Mayer, CEO of the Garland Chamber of Commerce and DCMA.

Event speakers included Eggleston, Mayer, Richland College Garland Campus Associate Dean of Workforce Development Kimberly Wilkins, TWC Chairman and Commissioner Andres Alcantar and Unity Manufacturing CEO Richard Buferd.


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.