Category Archives: Community and Economic Development

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.


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.