The State of Texas is a national leader in job creation and worker retraining and locally that has been put into action at Ranger College in partnership with businesses via a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission, or TWC.

According to Jose Romano, business development director for Gov. Greg Abbott, that process is a successful, ongoing project statewide.

“The Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, in conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission are working together to help unlock the human potential found in Texas workers, which has a positive and long lasting benefit to the Texas economy,” Romano said in a press release.

Last year, Ranger received a TWC grant of more than $240,000 to provide job training programs that are customized to specific skills needed by workers in local businesses.

Examples of Erath County companies that have benefited from the program are PAL-CON Ltd. and Schreiber Foods, Inc. who, in partnership with Ranger College have retrained people in their workforce or trained new employees under the TWC’s Skills Development Fund program.

This comes about when a business identifies a training need, submits proposals, works with the college to develop curricula and ultimately, conduct the training. The Skills Development Fund pays for the training and the college administers the grant.

Randy Thompson, president of PAL-CON, a company that builds heat exchangers for turbine engines, said their business needs people with specialized trade knowledge such as welders, painters, industrial insulation people and a whole array of other skill sets.

“We’ve had great feedback from our employees that the training they’ve received is just unbelievable. Many of them have said they thought they knew their stuff until they went," he said. “It’s been very helpful because what we do is so specialized. We’re only one of two companies in the world that build what we build, and we’re actually the only one that builds our type.

“Kellie Hamm, our executive services administrator, came to me with the idea for us to get involved," Thompson says, and adds that he can’t praise Ranger College’s vice president Dr. Kerry Schindler highly enough.

“He’s just been great with this and between Kellie and Dr. Schindler, this has really worked out for well everybody involved.”