AUSTIN – Workforce Solutions Capital Area announces an award of $100,000 from Texas Mutual Insurance Company to expand students’ skills training opportunities with Elgin Independent School District. Workforce Solutions is one of 44 recipients of Texas Mutual’s annual workforce development and training safety grant.
For this grant, Workforce Solutions and Elgin ISD will expand the district’s Auto Tech Pathway program by purchasing industry standard professional equipment, provide associated OSHA Basic 10 training, and interactive and experiential safety training. New equipment will include a Hunter Vehicle Lift, Hunter Alignment Machine, and a SnapOn Shop Press.
Students will learn how to repair and refinish automobiles and service various types of vehicles. According to Workforce Solutions, these are in-demand skills needed for Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic occupations, which are verified to be experiencing growth with opportunities for high-skill, high-wage jobs in the Austin area.
Additional classes include how to perform typical vehicle maintenance procedures such as lubrication, oil changes, installation of antifreeze, or replacement of accessories like wiper blades or tires.
Workforce Solutions’ career and education outreach specialist for Elgin ISD will assist with recruiting students, hosting presentations, and coordinating industry speakers to support awareness and enrollment.
“Thanks to Texas Mutual’s generous award, we will train members of our future skilled workforce to keep them safe and working in a high-demand technical occupation,” said Tamara Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “Through this program, we’re creating pathways for students to enter in-demand middle-skill jobs while reducing the risk for workplace accidents.”
“This grant will help qualify Elgin High School students as skilled auto techs, and help local automotive employers meet their hiring needs in today’s tight labor market. This is another example of how we are connecting local people to local jobs,” said Melanie Flowers, Chair of the Board of Directors for Workforce Solutions Capital Area.
Elgin ISD is home to more than 4,000 students and almost 80 percent are economically disadvantaged, according to the district.
Currently, 218 students are enrolled in the auto program. The district’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Welding and Ag Mech Welding students will also train with the new equipment. Today, 319 students are in the welding program and 51 in P-TECH.
Between the three programs, 588 students will receive quality training through 2022 and up to 10,000 over the lifespan of the new equipment, according to the district.
“Elgin ISD is thrilled to partner with Workforce Solutions and Texas Mutual to provide enhanced safety learning opportunities for our Auto Tech and Welding Career certification programs,” said Dr. Jodi Duron, Superintendent of Schools at Elgin ISD. “The Texas Mutual grant will provide the necessary equipment, online OSHA certification curriculum, and professional development so Elgin High School students have the necessary tools to develop enhanced safety skills while working in high-demand technical careers.”
Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board is the publicly-funded workforce board for Austin-Travis County. Through strong partnerships and strategic collaborations, Workforce Solutions is leading the region’s workforce system in the development of a world-class workforce.