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Del Mar College Celebrates 185 Continuing Education Workforce Training Program "Completers" with Ceremony on June 20

CE building South Texas’ workforce through short-term programs that address skills needed for in-demand jobs; completers increased from 110 last fall to 185 during past nine months

Article by Melinda Eddleman

Nueces County Judge Joe Benavides_Continuing Education Summer 2023 Recognition Ceremony

The evening was filled with pride, a sense of accomplishment and celebratory emotions. And, the occasion signified the beginning of a new journey for the honorees who walked across the stage in Del Mar College’s (DMC) Richardson Performance Hall.

On June 20, DMC Continuing Education (CE) administrators and staff recognized 185 students or “completers” whose hard work during the past nine months led to their finishing various short-term workforce training programs and the certifications and licensures that go along with them. The number of graduates increased by 75 students compared to the 110 who were honored last fall.

Before taking the spotlight, these CE graduates, family members and friends were provided words of wisdom during the keynote address given by Nueces County Judge Joe Benavides, Justice of the Peace 1-1. He recounted challenges throughout both his childhood and adulthood, including participating in a Spelling Bee, graduating from high school, getting accepted into the U.S. Marine Corps and pursuing higher education later in life to continue moving forward. The military veteran’s key message––perseverance––a quality that propelled him to his current role in the political arena.

Never give up. And, always take the negative and make it a positive.

Nueces County Judge Joe Benavides, Justice of the Peace 1-1

Acquiring or upgrading necessary skills to either enter the workforce or find something better was a priority for the graduates, including mother-daughter team Gilda and Ashley Hernandez, who completed the CE Welding Helper Program together. They both earned their Workforce Skills Award and plan to continue their training with the College’s associates degree program, Welding Applied Technology, after they both complete together the CE Adult Education Program to earn their high school equivalency.

Gilda Hernandez_Valdar the Viking_granddaughter_Ashley Hernandez_Continuing Education Summer 2023 Recognition Ceremony

Ashley Hernandez, age 35, said that she needed to get started on a solid career path for both herself and her six children. “I wanted something different, so I chose the Welding Helper Program because someday I want my own company,” she said, adding, “I also have two children who are now out of high school and planning to go through the program, too.”

Ashley’s mother, Gilda Hernandez, worked for 24 years as a certified nurse aide and said that she always wanted to be a welder but couldn’t until later in life. She had eight children to raise and now has two granddaughters.

 “One of my sons is a welder,” she noted. “So, when we’re all done, we’ll have at least four welders in the family and will go into business together.”

DMC Continuing Education’s Welding Helper Program is a good start.

CE short-term programs range from four to 16 weeks to complete, and programmatic sequencing allows students to on-board into specific study fields without prior knowledge or skills development. Additionally, these CE programs, whether they provide certification or Workforce Skills Awards, allow students to gain immediate employment during or upon completion. Another benefit of completing the CE programs is they may be transferrable and applied to related Level 1 and Level 2 certificate and associate degree programs at the College.

A significant number of the graduates received their training a no or minimal cost thanks to several resources the College received, such as a $500,000 Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Institutional Capacity Grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, an annual $100,000 Texas Mutual Insurance Company grant, the state legislature’s Texas Public Education Grant, Texas Workforce Commission Building and Construction Trades grant, ancillary support and funds from Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend and even scholarship support from industry partners like Nueces Electric Cooperative (NEC) and American Electric Power (AEP) for the College’s Entry Level Electrical Lineworker Program.

“Individuals only need to inquire with Continuing Education staff to see how these funding resources can help them complete one of our  programs for the jobs most prevalent in our area,” said Dr. Leonard Rivera, Associate Vice President of Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs. “We’re usually able to match the majority of our students with funds that either cover tuition or at least off-set costs for our workforce training programs.”

Individuals interested in learning more about Del Mar College’s Continuing Education workforce training programs can go online at www.delmar.edu/ce, call 361-698-2122 or email ce@delmar.edu

Of the CE graduates who were honored during the Summer 2023 Recognition Ceremony, Dr. Rivera said, “We’re very proud of these students for pursuing career training through our workforce-focused programs and completing their studies with the skills and knowledge to fill high-demand jobs in our local market. Today’s employers are seeking students who possess specific skill sets and industry-based credentials that can be acquired through concentrated, short-term continuing education training programs like those offered at Del Mar College.”

“These graduates now have credentials that will set them on a new path in our local workforce,” he added.

These graduates now have credentials that will set them on a new path in our local workforce.

Dr. Leonard Rivera, DMC Associate Vice President of Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs

The following students make up DMC Continuing Education’s June 2023 recognition honorees:

•  High School Equivalency Certificate (GED): Alexandrea Chappell, Lauren Garcia, Justin Martin, McKenzie Perez, Marina Romero and Charles Salinas-Hernandez

 • Child Development Associate (Infant/Toddler): Pamela L. Alvarez, Arrianna M. Cavazos, Amanda J. Espinoza, Martha E. Garcia, Monica N. Garcia, Jennifer Grande, Michelle M. Hoover, Nadene S. Nedd, Anissa I. Ruiz, Alexis A. Salinas, Jessica M. Solis and Crystal M. Trevino

• Child Development Associate (Preschool): Hope P. Caballero, Amanda R. Flores, Sandrika R. Thomas and Isabel Daniella E. Tobar

• Legal Secretary: Christi Blair and Dorothy T. Norman

• Real Estate: Alyssa N. Davila, Isabella L. Hill, Arnoldo D. Leon, Celina Pena, Cenaida P. Ramos, Brianna L. Rios, Connie A. Ruiz, Manuela B. Sanchez, Asia S. Vega-Ortiz and Brittany C. Villarreal

• Carpentry: Rito Cristian, Jr., Leonel Falcon, Liza A. Gutierrez, Michael J. Horn, Chelise Hyatt, Andrew Ireton, Amanda S. Karns, Emily Longoria, Jaime Lopez, Jacob Loya and Jonathan McChester

• Carpentry and House Wiring: Lawson M. Jones

• Carpentry and Plumbing: Ralph Cervantes, Valentin De Los Santos and Estevan Orona

House Wiring: Maria D. Amaya Fernandez

House Wiring and Plumbing: Sylvestre G. Constante, Roy C. Garcia, Saida D. Ramirez and Simona S. Vicuna-Ireton

• Plumbing: Willian Boyce, Antonio Morales and Arc Ray N. Sebua

Dr Leonard Rivera and Health Care Program Graduate_Continuing Education Summer 2-23 Recognition Ceremony

• Billing and Coding: Rhonda A. Aldrighetti, Karina R. Angeles, Jessica N. Carranza, Regina L. Carter, Laura O. Chavera, Elsa Escobar, Shelby N. Fino, Karla Flores, Crystal L. Gaytan,  Gloria J. Henderson, Hillary A. Hernandez, Tabitha D. Hoch, Rebekah Z. Juarez, Katie N. Kamire, Megie C. Laird, Amanda J. Landa, Ashley D. Martinez, Julia M. Monsevais, Lillian C. Moreno, Vannessa M. Oropeza, Adrianna Palomo, Rina I. Rodriguez, Candace J. Suarez, Connie F. Tilley, Melanie K. Torres and Emma Trejo

• Certified Nurse Aide: Ciro Butler, Victor Cantu, Madyson A. Claeys, Arlet Flores, Sophia G. Guerra, Du Hernandez, Vane Herrera, Adrianna G. Jimenez, Lauren Lara, Isabel Lozano, Damali-Aileen Luna, Rubi Martinez, Ana Martinez, Priscilla Martinez-Garcia, Jona Nesmith, V Nguyen Ngo, Clarissa Palacios, Stacy Perales and Peter Waweru

• Electrocardiography: Laura I. Barakat, Jacklyn N. Barton, Victoria K. Cantu, Alexandra M. Carter, Arleth Flores, Maegan E. Grapentine, Ariadna E. Grice, Adore E. Hinojosa, Candice M. Hynes, Katherine M. Longoria, Yency L. Martinez Rubio, Eva L. Mendoza, Cynthia N. Neisser, Angelita C. Saucedo, Janie Terrell and Mary J. Trammell

Nueces County Judge Joe Benavides and Continuing Education Workforce Training Program Graduate_Summer 2023 Recognition Ceremony

• Automotive Workforce Skills Award: Alberto Castillo

• Electrical Helper Workforce Skills Award: Victor T. Armadillo and Benito Sanchez

• Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Workforce Skills Award:

Victor R. Alcazar, Atanacio A. Alcomendas, Christopher Anderson, Adrian Avila, Michael A. Ayala, Kristian G. Croyl, Edward Escareno, Jimmy Gallegos, Julian Garcia, Ezquiel Gonzales, Carnelo Huape, Alec R. Kattner, Michael Lopez, Jose A. Martinez, Thai Nguyen, Erik I. Noriega, Jessica Ramirez, Rodolfo J. Ramirez, Reynaldo Rios, Adam Rivas, Matt Roberson, John Rodriguez, Samuel Rush, Samuel Santana, Cameron B. Stelly and Tom Trujillo

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Workforce Skills Award and Carpentry: Gene Flores

Instrumentation Helper Workforce Skills Award: David I. Brosemar, Alejandro Hernandez, William S. Hollis, Ashley N. Jalomo and Joseph J. Vela

Millwright Workforce Skills Award: Michael Galvan and John Palacios

• Welding Helper Workforce Skills Award: Cierra R. Aguilar, Martin Barrios, Angel Castaneda, April M. Castillo, Antonio L. Cortez, Audrey Cuellar, Matthew C. Elliott, Michael A. Gamboa, Juan M. Garcia, Ryan A. Garcia, Ruben G. Gonzalez, Tony Guerrero, Alberto Hernandez, Ashley Hernandez, Gilda Hernandez, Ryan C. Horton, Darryl Hurt, Armando Jimenez, Mia G. Leal, Bryce I. Marshall, Christian Molina, Jay E. Morton, Anthony N. Portillo, Domingo Ramos, Jaiden A. Salinas, Julian Serrato, Joseph Summers, Joanna Tello, Janiel Vega and Salvador Villanueva




About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.