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TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel presents $315,501 JET grant to Rockport-Fulton ISD at DMC Oso Creek Campus today





18:00 PM


Funds supporting career and technical education training for 127 RFISD students overall; long-term partnership with Del Mar College led to grant proposal assistance and current revamping of high school’s welding shop

Article by Melinda Eddleman
(Updated March 28, 2024)

TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing the Public Bryan Daniel

TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing the Public Bryan Daniel

With new industries and construction growing in the Coastal Bend, welding is a high-demand occupation. According to latest data on the Targeted Occupation List (2022-23) from Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend, the 12-county region’s employment demand for welders was 1,392 jobs offering a median wage of $24.14 an hour.

That demand aligns Rockport-Fulton Independent School District (ISD) students taking career and technical education (CTE) courses in welding with workforce needs in their community and beyond. And, today a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Jobs & Education for Texans (JET) grant for a $315,501 award was recognized with an oversized check presentation by TWC Chair Bryan Daniel, Commissioner Representing the Public, to Rockport-Fulton ISD representatives at Del Mar College’s Oso Creek Campus. (Read release from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Office)

It’s a wonderful time to be an institution in the state as well as a great time to be in this economic region.

Bryan Daniel, Texas Workforce Commission Chair and Commissioner Representing the Public


Del Mar College (DMC) Welding Applied Technology faculty provided guidance to the school district with procurement recommendations as well as reviewed their proposal for the JET grant.

Unveiling the JET Grant Check_TWC_Rockport-Fulton ISD and DMC

Unveiling the JET Grant Check_TWC_Rockport-Fulton ISD and DMC

During the presentation, Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Instructor Andrew Swanberg noted that the JET grant will “help us guide future welders into the field” by providing resources to accommodate more students pursuing welding as their career choice.

The JET grant will support training 127 RFHS students overall as they prepare for well-paying welding careers. Currently, 118 students receive Craft Training Center instruction in beginning, intermediate and advanced courses with the ISD expecting increased enrollment in their welding program next year according to representatives. The program addresses the need for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers.

As part of the grant, DMC faculty are providing expertise and working with high school instructors to rebuild RFHS’s welding shop, which suffered irreparable damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. That work includes replacing the ventilation system that will accommodate 22 new welding booths. JET grant funds are covering these much-needed reparations and the expanded shop reconfiguration, allowing more students to pursue CTE courses in welding at the high school.

In May 2023, the College hosted the TWC’s presentation totaling more than $7.7 million in JET grants awarded to 12 Coastal Bend educational institutions.

Those grants were critical in providing workforce training that leads area students to in-demand, well-paying careers, and this grant totaling more than $315,000 for Rockport-Fulton ISD’s welding program is no different.”

Lenora Keas, DMC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Group Pose with JET Grant Check_ TWC_Rockport-Fulton ISD and DMC

Group Pose with JET Grant Check_ TWC_Rockport-Fulton ISD and DMC

Representatives from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Del Mar College (DMC) and the Rockport-Fulton Independent School District (RFISD) pose with an oversized check representing the $315,501 Jobs & Education for Texans (JET) grant awarded to the school district for training students in their career and technical education (CTE) welding program. The College hosted the presentation at the Oso Creek Campus on March 26, 2024, with those present including (from left) Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Trevino, DMC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Escamilla, TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing the Public Bryan Daniel, Rockport-Fulton High School Principal Ashleigh Bible, DMC Board of Regent Dr. Anantha Babbili, Rockport-Fulton High School CTE Welding Teacher Andrew Swanberg and Mario Lozoya, JET Advisory Board member. (Credit: DMC College Relations Digital Services)

About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.

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