High wage-high skill jobs are critical to improving regional prosperity and a better quality of life for Valley families, according to STC leaders who have announced a brand new partnership with Weslaco EDC to increase high skill, high wage jobs in the Mid-Valley region.

At a check signing ceremony on Nov. 1, Weslaco presented STC with a $100,000 grant to be used by the college to provide customized training for small businesses in retail, manufacturing, and logistics. The funding period for the grant is from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019.

Guests in attendance at the check presentation included STC trustees Paul Rodriguez, Gary Gurwitz, Rene Guajardo and Weslaco EDC treasurer Stephen Charlton.

“I can’t help but reflect, it was actually the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation that brought STC to Weslaco at the old TexSun fruit juice plant,” said South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed. “We are fulfilling the purpose of STC, which has always been to develop a competitive workforce.

“We know that the only way out of poverty is with a job, and the only way to get a good paying job is by having that competitive workforce,” Dr. Reed said. “That has always been our mission and we have always been steadfast and dedicated to that mission.”

The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at STC specializes in building a manufacturing workforce through quality-customized training.

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, customizing, or developing new courses that companies need in order to thrive in the region.

IAM also works with various manufacturers in the Rio South Texas Region to improve financial performance, create higher efficiency and productivity, and obtain greater employee engagement and lower turnover.

“Workforce training is one of the biggest negotiators in today’s economic projects,” said EDC treasurer Charlton. “Before a company even considers moving to this area to grow their business, having a ready workforce means that employees are equipped with the right skill set for their needs.

“This grant provides money for student training at no cost to the student or employer,” Charlton said. “On behalf of the Board of the EDC, we are honored to be a part of this partnership.”