"Anytime we get a grant it's a blessing for us."
As part of the Jobs and Education for Texans program, Texas comptroller, Susan Combs approved 5-million in grants to help public junior colleges and technical institutes purchase new training equipment. Grants were awarded to 18 applicants following a review process. L.C.C. President, Dr. Juan Maldonado explains.
"This is a state wide competitive grant and different schools that have high demand workforce education programs apply for this grant."
The welding program at Laredo community college will receive 332,500 dollars from this grant. Welding instructor, Jorge Bernal has been teaching at LCC for 10 years says he's happy to here the program is receiving these funds especially because of the programs high demand.
"The program has really taken off with the Eagle Ford Shell and there's really a lot of jobs out there."
What these students learn in the classroom room will translate to real work experience. Student, Gabriel Herrera is changing careers after being injured working for the railroad and says the jobs are out there you just have to do the work.
"If I can do it at my age there no excuse why high school students can’t do it. Take advantage of it.
The money from this grant will go toward all sorts of things. One area in particular will be getting the latest technology to help students stay competitive.
Welding involves a lot of hand eye coordination and I even got a chance to try my skills at welding. Though my welding was pretty poor students who pass the program leave and get jobs.
"There are some students that leave and get jobs right away and weld better then I do.”