Corpus Christi, TX,
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DMC Unveils New Vehicles for Bus Driver Training during Texas Mutual Presentation

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

Safety is a priority … whether on the job––indoors or outdoors—or over-the-road. Del Mar College’s Safety Institute and Transportation Training Services program, which are offered through the Workforce Programs and Corporate Services Division, will continue to offer free safety training thanks to a fourth $100,000 grant that Texas Mutual Insurance Company presented Jan. 25 through the DMC Foundation.

Since 1999, Texas Mutual has awarded $5.2 million in safety education grants with 2017 marking the fourth consecutive year the company has awarded a grant to Del Mar College to support safety training targeting the Coastal Bend workforce.

“Workplace safety education will always be a sound investment, and we are happy to partner with Del Mar College to make safety programs a priority,” says Hill, Texas Mutual Insurance Company vice president of Safety and Information Services. “The courses available to area employees here in Corpus Christi, along with other safety institutes around the state, help workers across Texas be more prepared and successful on the job. These grants and other safety programs at Texas Mutual demonstrate our commitment to the prevention of workplace accidents and to overall workplace safety.”

The grant helps provide workplace safety courses for community employers, workers and the general public through the DMC Safety Institute at no cost while addressing a variety of industries. 

Participation in the Safety Institute has grown significantly since the College initiated the program in 2014. During the first two years, the institute offered 30 courses and trained 264 individuals. In 2016, 1,356 individuals participated in 129 courses. 

Initially, the College began the “Bus Safety First” program with the first Texas Mutual grant but then expanded safety training to cover workplace safety with the Safety Institute serving as the umbrella for varied offerings. Workplace courses include hydrogen sulfide (H2S) training, developing a culture of safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30, OSHA recordkeeping, basic ergonomics and more. 

“Transportation Training Services has also utilized the Texas Mutual grant very efficiently by working with several employers to promote safe driving,” says program director John Rojas. “Over the past three years, we’ve conducted safety training for 375 experienced commercial drivers.”

He adds that among employers taking advantage of the safety training are the Regional Transportation Authority, Corpus Christi and Flour Bluff Independent School Districts, Pepsi Cola (Oneta Corporation), Performance Food Group and US Express.

Bus safety training focuses on drivers’ compliance with state and federal rules and regulations, vehicle inspection, defensive driving techniques, distractive driving and hands-on backing maneuvers and driving skills.

“Del Mar College has also invested $28,000 by purchasing two school buses to add to our available course study,” notes Rojas, adding that he anticipates starting the School Bus Training Program this March.

The College showcased the two buses as part of Texas Mutual’s presentation.

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.