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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2010

Comptroller Awards $3.84 Million in Equipment Grants to
22 Texas Community Colleges

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs will award 22 community colleges across the state more than $3.84 million in grant funds to help finance equipment purchases for new career and technical education programs that support fast-growing industries. The grant money from the Job Building Fund helps Texans get technical training for careers in high-demand occupations.

“This money will help schools buy specialized equipment and training materials to support work force development programs, continuing education training courses, and certificate and associate degree programs experiencing rapidly increasing enrollment,” Combs said.

This is the third round of funding for the equipment grants. Combs previously awarded approximately $3.51 million to 17 colleges in March 2010 and $2.26 million to 13 schools in December 2009 using the Job Building Fund grant program.

In April, the Comptroller’s office posted notice for $4 million in grant funds available for programs that prepare low-income students for careers in high-demand technical occupations. The 22 following community colleges will receive a total of $3,841,964.67 in funding:
Applicant Location Related Training Program

Amount
Requested

Alvin Community College Alvin Electroneurodiagnostic Technician $150,677.00
Amarillo College Amarillo Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $100,000.00
Angelina College Lufkin Welding Technicians $171,724.00
Austin Community College Austin Automotive Alternative Fuels Technicians $98,860.00
Cisco College Cisco Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician $135,300.00
Clarendon College Clarendon Wind Turbine Technicians $300,000.00
College of the Mainland Galveston Emergency Medical Technicians $91,970.00
Del Mar College Corpus Christi Computer Science and IT Engineering Technicians $203,500.00
Eastfield College Mesquite New and Innovative Energy Systems Technicians $147,098.00
Galveston College Galveston HVAC Maintenance Technology Technicians $118,396.00
Hill College Hillsboro Automotive Mechanics Technology Technicians $186,340.00
Lamar State College - Orange Orange Upward Mobility Registered Nurse $137,603.46
Laredo College Laredo Associate and Vocational Nursing $91,739.21
McLennan Community College Waco Respiratory Care Technician $147,762.00
Northeast Texas Community College Mt. Pleasant Manufacturing Processes and Quality Assurance $239,240.00
Odessa College Odessa Process Instrumentation Technicians $195,926.00
South Plains College Levelland Digital Forensics Technicians $74,960.00
South Texas College Hidalgo Wind and Solar Power Delivery System Electricians $350,000.00
Trinity Valley Community College Athens Precision Production (Welding Technology) $101,400.00
Tyler Junior College Tyler Vocational Nursing $117,209.00
Weatherford College Weatherford Associate and Vocational Nursing $332,260.00
Wharton County Junior College Wharton Process Technology (Chemical Technicians) $350,000.00
Total requested

$3,841,964.67

According to Dr. Shirley Chenault, the director of resource development at Weatherford College, the JET grant will increase capacity and quality of clinical experiences necessary for associate degree nursing students. The school will use their grant money to place high-tech patient simulators in the current nursing laboratory setting, which will allow the college to expand the current capacity/enrollment of nursing students in the program.

“These simulators allow forpatient care scenarios that give students opportunities to deal with multisystem failures and higher levels of critical thinking,” Chenault said. “In addition, High-Tech Patient Simulators will be placed in our rural partner hospitals to enhance the quality of the student clinical experiences.In the rural setting, it is difficult to find appropriate levels of patient care on a consistent basis. With simulation, we can provide to the student patients with multisystem failures, which will help nursing students develop higher-level critical thinking skills necessary for practice as graduate and registered nurses.”

Warren Knox, the interim chair of the Computer Science, Engineering and Advanced Technologies Department at Del Mar College, said the JET equipment grant award will enhance the hands-on training opportunities for every student in the school’s recently approved curriculum for the associate in applied science degree in engineering technology. Del Mar will use the funds to acquire the equipment critical to supporting the robotics, AC/DC motor control, fluid power, solar fundamentals and wind energy courses.

“Graduates will be better prepared to enter the work force possessing the skills and confidence necessary to succeed as technicians in the mechatronics (mechanical engineering and electronics) and wind/solar alternative energy career fields,” Knox said. “Likewise, potential employers in various regional industries will benefit from a larger pool of qualified workers prepared to meet the present and future needs of South Texas. We personally thank the Comptroller for providing funds that will permit us to move forward with quality equipment that gives our students enhanced opportunities to successfully compete in the engineering technology career fields of the future.”

View more details about the Job Building Fund at http://www.everychanceeverytexan.org/funds/job_building/#award.

Schools that receive Job Building Fund grants must provide matching funds in the form of cash, equipment, materials, supplies and/or personnel costs. The Comptroller’s office selected grant recipients based on each project’s potential economic return to the state and on endeavors that involve dual-credit programs with local high schools or cooperative arrangements with other colleges. Priority was given to projects that target high-demand occupations and new or emerging industries.

The Job Building Fund is a component of the Comptroller’s $25 million Every Chance Funds program. The program also includes the $5 million Career and Technical Scholarship Fund, which allocates money for approved training programs for high‐demand occupations, and the $10 million Launchpad Fund, which supports and expands existing nonprofit programs with a proven track record of good performance.

For more information about Every Chance Funds, visit www.everychanceeverytexan.org/funds.

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