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.