FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2023
MCALLEN, TX — Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, joined Texas Workforce (TWC) Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public, Bryan Daniel, today to present nine Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grants totaling $4,718,866. The grants have been awarded to South Texas College, La Joya Independent School District (LJISD), Vanguard Academy (VA), and Weslaco Independent School District (WISD).
The JET program, championed by Senator Hinojosa, provides grants to eligible entities to purchase and install equipment necessary for the development of career and technical education (CTE) courses or programs that lead to a license, certificate, or post-secondary degree in a high-demand occupation. This past session, the Texas Legislature appropriated $30.7 million to the TWC for the JET Program.
The recipients of the grants are as follows:
South Texas College (STC) will be awarded $659,682 to expand the capacity of the Vocational Nursing Program and the Emergency Medical Services Program. This will be achieved by acquiring specialized equipment such as Manikins, MedStations, Medical Oxygen Generating Systems, and motorized lifting equipment. Approximately 395 students will benefit from this investment.
La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) will receive $1,384,190 to train approximately 100 students in the Manufacturing field. The training will also include the opportunity to gain dual credit hours and an Industry-Based Certification such as NIMS Machining Level I. Additionally, the grant will be used to train around 130 students in the nursing field, enabling them to attain Industry-Based Certifications.
Vanguard Academy (VA) will be awarded $1,494,805 to purchase, install, and train for current and innovative, industry-based equipment. This investment will provide VA students with training for careers in the computer networking and LVN/health science professions. These areas are regionally recognized as in-demand for the local economy and will provide students with hands-on training and industry-based certifications for future employment.
Weslaco Independent School District (WISD) will receive $1,180,189 to purchase industry-standard automotive equipment for their Career and Technology Education Center (CTEC). The equipment will provide students with hands-on learning experiences in the Automotive and Welding programs, preparing them for jobs that are high in demand and growth for the South Texas Region, including Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics and Welding.
Senator Hinojosa expressed his congratulations to the recipients of these grants, emphasizing the importance of investing in career and technical education to meet the demands of the local workforce. He stated, "These grants will provide students with the necessary tools and training to succeed in high-demand occupations, ultimately strengthening our economy and improving the lives of individuals and families in South Texas. I appreciate TWC Chairman Bryan Daniels coming to the RGV to present these awards and thank him for his support of the JET Program."
The JET grants presented today are a testament to the commitment of Senator Hinojosa and the Texas Legislature to support education and workforce development in the state. By equipping students with the skills and certifications needed for in-demand careers, these grants will contribute to the growth and prosperity of South Texas.