Texas Workforce Commission grants to help TSTC train area workers

By Amanda Sotelo, Special to the Star

On Thursday, Texas State Technical College, SpawGlass Contractors Inc. and Fisher & Company Inc. were presented with Skills Development Fund grants totaling $277,235 by the Texas Workforce Commission.

SpawGlass Contractors and Fisher & Company will use their $143,332 and $133,903 grants, respectively, to train 150 employees for more than 900 hours and to create and upgrade jobs.

“This is the power of collaboration at its best,” said TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez. “These grants will transform the skilled workforce in Cameron County. We are proud and honored to partner with our local industry and the Texas Workforce Commission in this endeavor.”

The training received by both companies is provided by TSTC Workforce Training and Continuing Education and is customized to fit the needs of the employers.

SpawGlass Contractors is a team of professionals dedicated to providing clients with the best construction experience. This grant will provide 73 of its employees with training in masonry, welding, Microsoft Office programs, and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core curriculum.

SpawGlass Contractors’ chairman and CEO, Joel Stone, who is a TSTC alumnus, said SpawGlass is committed to investing in the development of its employees.

“For a company that is committed to training its personnel, this is an exciting moment for us. With partnerships like this, the opportunities we have are monumental,” he said. “And this impacts more than just our company; it impacts our communities. I can’t wait to see where this partnership takes us.”


Stone also touched on how TSTC impacted his life nearly three decades ago when he graduated from the college with a certificate in construction.

“TSTC led me to my career,” said Stone. “I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I was going, but TSTC helped me begin my road to success.”

Fisher & Company is the automotive industry’s premier supplier of engineered seating systems and mechanisms. It has 75 employees receiving training in areas such as machine shop, blueprint reading, overhead crane operations, and electrical and motor systems troubleshooting.

The company’s general manager, Clarence Ball, said he is thankful for everyone involved in making this partnership possible.

“This partnership will have a positive impact on our employees, their skills and our productivity,” he said. “There is no limit on where we can go with this.”

Guests of honor who also shared their insight into workforce training and technical education included Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., TSTC Board of Regents member Alex Meade, Executive Director for Workforce Solutions Cameron Pat Hobbs, and Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez.

“TSTC’s training, in more than 50 years of service, has remained golden,” said Lucio. “Today, businesses looking to hire from a wide array of industries, from construction to aerospace, know that they can look to TSTC to fulfill and even surpass their hiring needs.”