Congressman Hinojosa, San Jacinto College discuss workforce training programs and industry partnerships
11.13.2014 | By Andrea Vasquez
Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) recently visited the San Jacinto College Central Campus for a first-hand look at some of the College’s workforce training programs, and to discuss the success of local industry partnerships incorporated into the College’s training curriculums.
Since 2008, when the first Eagle Ford Shale well was drilled, the oil and gas boom has made its way to South Texas. With the regional expansion steadily growing, local students and professionals are looking for educational and workforce training opportunities to fill these jobs.
“Along with oil and gas industry training programs, we are also looking to understand how workforce training in allied health, manufacturing, and automotive industries can be incorporated through industry partnerships, like many of the successful programs at San Jacinto College,” said Congressman Hinojosa at the administrator and faculty roundtable discussion.
While demonstrating some of the instrumentation installations his first-year students created, San Jacinto College instrumentation program director, Michael Duron, expressed the wide range of areas he makes his students aware of. “I tell my students that automation is used everywhere, from hospitals to manufacturers like Toyota and even in universities. It’s not just in the oil and gas area. People come to college for options, and it’s our job to show them all the different opportunities that are out there.”
After an instrumentation demonstration, Congressman Hinojosa also toured the College’s pilot plant lab and the transportation center, where the Toyota Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) associate degree program is housed. The T-TEN program is a collaboration between Toyota Motor Sales, Gulf States Toyota, and San Jacinto College to provide factory certified entry-level technicians for Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Last year, the College purchased 10 vehicles for $1 each from Toyota to use in T-TEN training.
In a wrap-up discussion, the Congressman was also provided information about the College’s cyber technology training, much of which is facilitated through the Technology Training for Tomorrow (IT3) grant funded through the U.S. Department of Labor, and information about the Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, which provides numerous resources for San Jacinto College veteran students and their families.
“I am very impressed with all of the collaborative industry partnerships these programs have,” said Congressman Hinojosa. “I think this is something we can definitely apply to some of our college programs in South Texas to ensure our students are prepared for these opportunities.”
Pictured above: Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) recently visited the San Jacinto College Central Campus, touring the instrumentation and pilot plant labs, along with the state-of-the-art transportation center, to get a first-hand look at these workforce training programs. Pictured left to right: Lisa Woodward, vice president of nursing education, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance; Congressman Rubén Hinojosa; Narciso Garcia, Pharr-San Juan, deputy superintendent, Alamo Independent School District; and Ruben Cortez, member, Texas State Board of Education, South Texas Region. Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.