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TWC Presents Two Skills Development Fund Grants Totaling $870,803 to DMC and Two Industry Partners for Employees’ Upskilling, Reskilling Training

Del Mar College Corporate Services training impacting combined 468 employees with Gulf Island Services LLC and ArcelorMittal Texas HBI, keeping Coastal Bend industries competitive

Article by Melinda Eddleman

TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson_Signing Gulf Island Services TWC Grant Check

To remain competitive, companies have to stay ahead of the curve in their industries. While Del Mar College (DMC) serves as a pipeline that feeds well-trained, highly-skilled individuals into South Texas’ workforce, sometimes training involves upskilling or reskilling current or new employees already on the job.

Two Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills Development Fund (SDF) grants are providing specific DMC training for two companies with employees here in the Coastal Bend––Louisiana-based Gulf Island Services LLC and ArcelorMittal Texas HBI (formerly voestalpine Texas LLC).

On Wednesday, April 5, TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson presented two checks totaling $870,803 representing funding covering that customized training through the College’s Workforce Programs & Corporate Services Division.

While on the Windward Campus, Commissioner Demerson and everyone who attended the TWC’s presentation also toured the College’s Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Process Technology Lab and the Petroleum Processing Pilot Plant to see the advanced technology that DMC students and industry partner employees use for hands-on training.

Congratulations to Del Mar College in partnership with Coastal Bend Workforce Solutions on receiving two Skills Development Fund grants that will benefit local employers Gulf Island Services, and ArcelorMittal. These grants are a perfect example of a win-win situation, as this investment builds the skills of the employee, and also provides the employer with customized training that will meet their immediate needs.

TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson

“These grants are much more than dollar amounts. They’re investments in our community,” noted Lenora Keas, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Del Mar College. “They enable residents of the Coastal Bend to increase and diversify their workforce skills, earn good wages and raise families. The grants are a ‘win’ all around because employees gain a competitive edge with specialized training, and employers want to retain their skilled employees.”

DMC Corporate Services training is upskilling and reskilling 468 employees combined between the two companies. Total contact hours for Gulf Island Services employee training is 11,860  while ArcelorMittal employees are completing a total of 4,528 contact hours.

Richard Heo with Gulf Island Services and TWC Commissioner Aaron Demerson

The first SDF grant for $567,597 covers the training needs of Gulf Island Services, whose Coastal Bend location is in Ingleside. DMC is providing a variety of courses for employees in 198 new jobs and 88 upgraded jobs. Preparing or refreshing employees for work on and offshore, these courses range from environmental, safety and health; scaffold building/suspended scaffolding; welding; painter/blaster and first aid/CPR to fall protection; rigging; heavy and forklift operation; HUET and Tropical HUET (helicopter underwater escape training) and more. Leadership training is also provided to new supervisors.

Gulf Island is a leading fabricator of complex steel structures and modules and a provider of specialty services, including project management, hookup, commissioning, repair, maintenance, scaffolding, coatings, welding enclosures, civil construction and staffing services to the industrial and energy sectors. Learn more about the company by visiting  www.gulfisland.com.

Gulf Island is excited to partner with Del Mar College and the Texas Workforce Commission in connection with the Skills Development Fund. This program is an excellent opportunity to provide additional soft skills and technical training to our workforce. It also provides incremental training to our new employees on the importance of safety in our growing industry.

Richard Heo, President and CEO of Gulf Island Services LLC
Michael Spitz with ArcelorMittal and TWC Commissioner Aaron Demerson

Del Mar College received a second SDF grant for $303,206 to upgrade 182 jobs at ArcelorMittal Texas HBI. Originally voestalalpine Texas LLC, which opened a $1 billion manufacturing facility in 2016 in Portland, the College has held a long-standing relationship with the company and is now partners with ArcelorMittal Texas HBI. The company produces over 2 million tons annually of high quality hot briquetted iron (HBI) as a sophisticated pre-material for the production of steel.

The SDF grant allows the company to cross-train or upskill employees in multi-craft trades for more productivity and flexibility to respond to various production or service delays. Courses focus on current employees, including process operators, mechanics, raw materials operators and lab technicians with DMC’s training aligning with its credit programs in millwright, process technology, petrochemical lab technology and instrumentation, among others. The training also addresses the company’s employee retention and development strategy.

Through this collaboration, ArcelorMittal Texas will now train one of our largest groups of employees since the opening of our HBI plant. Our state-of-the-art plant hails a superior product and is known for being the best-in-class technology. Our employees are now better skilled in process technology, maintenance and laboratory jobs due to this vital partnership. We applaud Del Mar College and the Texas Workforce Commission in their efforts to build a more sustainable and modernized workforce in the Coastal Bend region,” he notes, adding, ““ArcelorMittal Texas HBI is proud to partner with the College and the TWC to utilize the grant for upskilling our employees.

Uwe Leopold, Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal Texas HBI

Learn more about the company by visiting https://corporate.arcelormittal.com/media/press-releases/arcelormittal-acquires-majority-stake-in-voestalpine-s-state-of-the-art-hbi-facility-in-texas.

Of the College receiving the TWC grants, Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend CEO Ken Trevino adds, “It is amazing to see the partnership between Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend and Del Mar College flourish. Strengthening this partnership through the Skills Development Fund will benefit participating employers, job seekers and those seeking training to prepare for jobs in the Coastal Bend.”

You can also read the news release from Gov. Greg Abbott's Office using the following link: Governor Abbott Announces Over $870,000 In Job Training Grants To Del Mar College | Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott




CAPTION FOR TOP PHOTO: On April 5, Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson with the Texas Workforce Commission presented two Skills Development Fund grant checks totaling $870,803 for reskilling, upskilling training by Del Mar College’s Workforce Programs & Corporate Services Division for two companies, Louisiana-based Gulf Island Services LLC and ArcelorMittal Texas HBI. Pictured with the two checks are DMC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lenora Keas, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Heo, TWC Commissioner Aaron Demerson, DMC Board of Regent for District 1 Rudy Garza, Jr., DMC President and CEO Mark Escamilla, Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend CEO Ken Treviño, DMC Dean of Workforce Programs & Corporate Services Dan Korus and Chief Technical Officer Michael Spitz with ArcelorMittal Texas HBI. (Credit: CRO Digital Services)



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.