Hill College receives $499,800 grant to fast-track skilled workers into targeted occupations

  Jessyca Brown
  Wednesday, December 15, 2021 9:31 AM

Hillsboro, TX

Hill College recently received a $499,800 Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Institutional Capacity grant from the Texas Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to support students impacted by COVID-19.

The grant will be used to quickly expand Hill College’s Welding, HVAC, and Industrial Maintenance programs through student scholarships and program related facility renovations and instructional equipment purchases.

Scholarship funds available through this grant total $15,000 and will be awarded to eligible students for the 2022 spring and summer semesters. To be eligible, applicants must: be a Texas resident eligible for in-state tuition; complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application; have financial need and/or meet eligibility for federal Title IV aid; enrolled/plan to enroll in the welding, HVAC or industrial maintenance programs; and can affirm they were affected by COVID-19.

The Industrial Maintenance, Welding, and HVAC programs were selected for expansion based on curricular design to be completed within six months or less and lead to entry level positions in high-value, high-demand occupations as identified by current labor market data and local industry input. Among the three programs, there are 17 certification and degree options for students to choose from.

“This grant is exciting because it allows for targeted industries to interact with our programs in a productive and mutually beneficial way,” said Hill College Vice President of Instruction Dr. Kerry Schindler. “Our programs regularly meet with business and industry partners through Advisory Committee meetings. However, the grant will allow industry partners to share resources through instruction, provide input on the latest equipment used in industry, and, most importantly, provide scholarships and opportunities for workers/students.”

Facility renovations are necessary to ensure adequate instructional capacity for increased enrollment in each program. Equipment purchases for lab and instructional use will include machinery, tooling and storage, and precision measurement tools.

“With the new equipment, students will be able to troubleshoot Program Logic Controls and learn how to program and run CNC machining centers,” said Brian Bennett, Hill College’s dean of instruction for business and industry. “Within these tasks, students will gain the knowledge of precision tools such as calipers and micrometers, and electrical tools such as a multimeter and a 3-phase rotation meter.”

Existing Industrial Maintenance students will help with the installation and setup of the equipment beginning this spring as equipment is purchased and delivered. Summer 2022 will be full implementation of the equipment into the curriculum, Bennett said.

“The TRUE grant is a great opportunity for Hill College to contribute to the state’s jumpstarting the economy due to the pandemic,” said Hill College President Dr. Pam Boehm. “We are thrilled to be able to offer funding for students in HVAC, welding, and industrial maintenance to help place students directly to work in our local community. Community colleges in Texas provide 47% of higher education in Texas and 92% of all career and technical education training in the state. We are excited to be an active participant in contributing to our local workforce.”

For more information about grant eligibility requirements and how to apply, email scholarships@hillcollege.edu.