Hundreds of new and incumbent workers will benefit from a $400,000 grant awarded by the City of McAllen to the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at South Texas College.

On Jan. 19 at STC’s Technology Campus, McAllen presented a grant from the city’s Development Corporation fund that will support customized training dedicated to local industry.

Attendees at the event included STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, McAllen EDC CEO and President Keith Patridge, Regal Beloit Engineer Manager Kenneth Shaffer, and Alps Logistics Operations Manager Vincent Maclean.

“We believe South Texas College is a great investment for these funds,” Dr. Reed said. “We hope to train another 650 new or incumbent workers with these funds, and we have outlined all the additional ways we use the funds to support advanced manufacturing.

“I want to say thank you, and we appreciate the partnership with McAllen Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Solutions, and all our industry partners,” Dr. Reed said. “We can’t do this without you.”

The city and the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at South Texas College have announced the investment to help McAllen become increasingly competitive on a global scale.

Customized training involves over 300 courses at STC that have been tailored for the needs of local industry. The strength of the college lies in modifying and customizing these courses, or developing new courses that companies need in order to thrive in the region.

Funds will be used to develop cutting-programs, purchase curriculum, licenses, software and high-tech equipment that will keep enable the college to stay on top of the needs of local industry.

“I can sincerely say that I don’t know where McAllen would be without STC,” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling told attendees. “We talk about all these things that relate to employment and industry, and one thing I would like to emphasize that is that last month the unemployment rate here is lower than the State of Texas and certainly lower than the United States. That has a lot to do with the people in this room.”

In 1997, McAllen commissioners through an ordinance decided to develop the fund to assist with various projects throughout the city. The ordinance also set aside funds for education, economic development and healthcare initiatives available through a competitive process decided by the Board of McAllen Development Corporation, Inc. The grant is funded using the city’s half-cent sales tax.

“This is a competitive grant, and we have to apply to it each year,” said Carlos Margo, STC Dean of Industry Training. “Us receiving this grant is contingent upon our past performance here at IAM.”