The Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Advisory Board, chaired by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, approved approximately $5 million in grants to help public junior colleges and technical institutes purchase technical training equipment. Grants were awarded to 18 applicants following a review process.
Among those receiving such a grant was Coastal Bend College.
The college’s Programmable Logic Controllers/Petroleum Pump Operators received $347,548.
“These grants will help students get hands-on training in a range of occupations that are vital to the state’s continuing prosperity,” Combs said. “We have diverse economic sectors that require technical skills for which our workforce needs to be trained. The grants approved today cover equipment in programs such as the oil and gas sector, manufacturing, healthcare and mechanics.”
During the last legislative session, lawmakers appropriated $10 million for equipment grants. Following Thursday’s round of grant approvals, a request for applications for the remaining $5 million is expected to be issued within the next month.
The JET grant program for equipment began in 2009, and approximately $16.7 million has previously been awarded since it began.
According to the Texas Comptroller’s 2008 Texas Works report, nearly 570,000 students were enrolled in Texas public community colleges in 2007, about 39 percent more than in 1997. Adjusted for inflation, state spending per community college student fell by 17.8 percent from 1997 to 2007.