At a ceremony Thursday in the Lecture Hall at Ranger College Erath County Center, Bill Campion, president of the college, accepted a check for $247,879 from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills Development Fund (SDF) in partnership with two local companies, PAL-CON Ltd. and Schreiber Foods, Inc.

Presenting the check was Hope Andrade, the commissioner representing employers for the TWC, who calls the program a “talent pipeline in Texas.”

“I’m delighted to be in Stephenville to celebrate this innovative and important collaboration between one of Texas’ fine colleges and two of our great Texas manufacturers," Andrade said. "This grant reflects the strength of our Texas economy and two employers, one large and one small together as partners with the local community college to provide training for their employees."

Andrade serves as the advocate for more than 485,000 Texas employers. In that role, she ensures that employers' interests are considered in all commission actions.

"The last few years have been very exciting here in Erath County where people have bonded in training opportunities and I think we’re still in our infancy," Campion said.

He went on to thank everyone who has been involved with Ranger College, in particular STEDCO and its former president, Ron Mullins of First Financial Bank.

Skills Development is Texas’ premier job-training program and is funded by appropriations from the Texas Legislature.

The program provides grants to community and technical colleges such as Ranger College to provide customized job training programs for businesses who want to train new workers or upgrade the skills of their existing workforce.

This is all set in motion when a business, consortium of businesses or trade union identifies a training need, and then partners with a public community or technical college to fill its specific needs. Businesses work with college partners to submit proposals, develop curricula and conduct training. The Skills Development Fund pays for the training, and the college administers the grant.

Success is achieved through collaboration with businesses, public community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards and economic development partners.