Texas Mutual Insurance Company Awards Tenth $100K Grant to College for Continued Safety Training, Presents Check on May 10
Award represents 10-year anniversary and $1 million mark since DMC began safety training programs through Workforce Programs & Corporate Services and Continuing Education & Off-Campus Programs Divisions
Article by Melinda Eddleman
Over the past 10 years, Del Mar College (DMC) has trained over 5,000 industry partners’ employees and general public participants who have taken workplace safety courses through the DMC Safety Training Program. These courses are offered through the College’s Workforce Programs & Corporate Services and Continuing Education & Off-Campus Programs Divisions, which are partially supported through an annual safety grant awarded by Texas Mutual Insurance Company.
On May 10, Texas Mutual presented another $100,000 grant to DMC, marking the 10th anniversary and $1 million mark in support of safety training by the College in the Coastal Bend. Over a 24-year period, Texas Mutual has awarded $12 million in safety education grants, and more than 52,000 students have attended free or discounted safety training offered at colleges across the state.
While being a source for workers’ comp insurance is who we are, our mission extends beyond that to include supporting programs that help prevent workplace accidents. We’ve said for a long time that workplace safety education is a sound investment, and we truly mean that.
Rose added, “We are so happy to have Del Mar College as a part of that safety investment, and we recognize the work you are doing in Corpus Christi to help make your workforce safer.”
“Initially, the College began a ‘Bus Safety First’ Program utilizing Texas Mutual grant funding to provide safety training to licensed bus operators,” Lenora Keas, DMC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, told guests during the announcement. “We expanded training and offered more courses to local employers and their employees, as well as the general public, so what started as one course expanded to 26 offerings over a 10-year period, now ranging from industrial heavy equipment to food service safety and hurricane preparedness, among many others.”
She noted that the College also collaborates with other institutions receiving Texas Mutual grants to share best practices and works more closely with the local OSHA office to stay informed of the latest trends to further improve DMC’s safety training courses.
“These programs will continue going strong and making a difference in the workplace, due in large part to Texas Mutual grant funding,” Keas added.
The Bus Safety First program was offered through the Transportation Training Services Program with the Workforce Programs & Corporate Services Division to provide safety training to drivers already holding Commercial Drivers Licenses or CDLs. Now under the umbrella of the DMC Safety Training Program, the College offers more courses focused on training that targets local employers and their workers as well as the general public.
Our safety courses provide trainees the knowledge and skills required to perform their jobs or any work-related activity safely, minimizing the hazards that could put themselves or others at risk. The majority of these trainees have been employees working for our industry and community partners across the Coastal Bend region, ranging from industrial construction to petrochemical fields to city governments.
Companies such as BrandSafway, MMR, SIGNET, Kiewit Offshore Services, ArcelorMittal, the City of Corpus Christi and many others have come to Del Mar College for critical safety training for their employees.
Korus said, “Texas Mutual’s Safety Grant gives us the resources to deliver that training as a low to no-cost offering, allowing our partners to provide their employees additional training that enhances their ‘Safety Culture.’”
He also noted that the grant also supports under-to-unemployed individuals who have the potential to upskill or reskill for area jobs while also adding safety-related industrial credentials to give them a competitive edge while entering the workforce.
“Many of these individuals receive partial to full tuition coverage from the grant,” Korus added.
During the past year, DMC provided training in 55 courses to 635 people. Over the past decade, those figures equate to 5,010 individuals and 584 safety classes offered through the two DMC divisions.
In 2022, the College increased its OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and heavy equipment training to support local industry employers and developed new Safety Training Program courses based on OSHA’s reported top safety violations. Additionally, a new hybrid NCCER Core course and an Unmanned Aircraft Safety Certification course were added to the list of safety training available.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of the Texas Mutual Safety Grant and its impact on the individuals who complete courses through Continuing Education,” said Dr. Leonard Rivera, Associate Vice President of Continuing Education & Off-Campus Programs. “The grant allows us to address training specific to different sectors of the workforce; and as noted, over the past 10 years, Del Mar College’s Safety Training Program has evolved.”
DMC Continuing Education now offers training in CPR and first aid to coaches, parents and students involved in youth sports as part of a collaboration with the Texas A&M University Agrilife Extension Division and their Healthy South Texas Program. His division also provides a Radiation Safety course targeting personnel in the industrial radiography business and individuals who work with Gamma or X-ray radiation, along with DMC Nondestructive Testing Technology students, to deliver critical safety training. Other safety training focuses on HVAC refrigerant recovery, recycling and reclaiming following Environmental Protection Agency regulations and safety practices and equipment needed for field training in the College’s new Electrical Lineworker Program.
Of his division’s new program, Dr. Rivera added, “Thanks to Texas Mutual’s grant, we’re not only training new lineworkers for our industry partners but ensuring that training includes the safety components required in this field.”
After the check presentation, the College showcased safety practices during a forklift training obstacle course demo, a CPR techniques demo using a mannequin and a radiation safety demo using a mock Gamma camera and small ultrasonic unit used for weld inspections at refineries. Additionally, guests could watch a video featuring Electrical Lineworker students who were the first to finish the new Continuing Education program in April undergoing final exam exercises on utility poles. Funds from Texas Mutual have helped support these and other programs.
Learn more about Del Mar College’s Safety Training Program offerings by visiting delmar.edu/continuing-education/index.html.
About Texas Mutual Insurance Company
Austin-based Texas Mutual Insurance Company, a policyholder-owned company, is the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. Texas Mutual provides coverage to 42% of the market, representing over 72,000 companies, many of which are small businesses. Since 1991, the company has provided a stable, competitively priced source of workers’ comp insurance for Texas employers. Helping employers prevent workplace accidents is an important part of Texas Mutual’s mission.
EDITOR’S NOTE for newsroom rotator and release banner: Pictured with the Texas Mutual Insurance Company $100,000 oversized check representing their support for Del Mar College’s Safety Training Program is Texas Mutual’s Safety Services Manager (Austin Region) Stacy Rose (left), DMC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lenora Keas and C. Michelle Unda, DMC Foundation Board of Trustees President and Manager Regional HR & Public Affairs for NuStar Central West South Region. (Credit: CRO Digital Services)
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.