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.