Grant helps Amarillo College support training for businesses affected by COVID-19


AMARILLO, Texas — Amarillo College, after a $287,500 award from the Texas Workforce Commission, is positioned to help offset costs and provide workforce training for businesses and employees adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The goal of this grant is to offset the cost the business and industry and offset their cost in some ways because a lot of businesses in the region or throughout Texas are struggling,” Linda Muñoz, Dean of Technical Education, said.

The funding will be used by the college to partner with local industry in support of workforce training opportunities at a reduced cost for businesses in the manufacturing, energy, or health sciences sectors.

“It’s really a partnership with business and industry to offset the cost of training. So, for example, let’s say there’s a company that needs to train 20 forklift workers and that training cost 24 hundred dollars per individual, this grant can work with that company and offset 2,000 dollars per individual,” Muñoz explained.

The College will utilize not only proven programs already in its inventory, but it will contractually administer customized training that meets the unique needs of local industry.

The award authorizes AC to cover costs up to $2,000 for new or incumbent employees for skills training or retraining within its nine-county service area, and elsewhere in the Panhandle where equivalent training is not presently available.

The service area of the Amarillo College District includes the territory within Potter, Randall, Deaf Smith, Moore, Carson, Castro, Oldham, Parmer, and Swisher counties.

“We are gratified by this generous funding from the Texas Workforce Commission,” Dr. Linda Muñoz, dean of technical education, said. “It is a cornerstone of our mission to help maintain a strong workforce in the Texas Panhandle by supporting businesses and employee growth.”

Any business that would like to diversify or expand their workforce, or one that is experiencing difficulty hiring skilled employees, might benefit from this grant.

The Skills Development Fund is Texas’ premier job-training program, providing local customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce.

“We have a lot of individuals who have lost their jobs or maybe moving to new jobs or businesses and industries that need to train new workers that are coning in. So this is upskilling the panhandle,” Muñoz said.

For more information about manufacturing or energy-related opportunities at AC, please contact David Hall, associate dean of technical education, at 806-335-4309. For information about health sciences training opportunities at AC, please call Melissa Burns, director of the Center for Continuing Healthcare Education, at 806-356-3650.

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