JUDGE: County working on Regional Training Center
Milam County has undertaken what may be the most aggressive project ever undertaken by county government – a regional training center. The idea is to provide training for all ages here in Milam County for a host of different types of non-college careers. Today there is a big demand for all types of good paying jobs that do not require a college degree such as health care, renewable energy, plumbers and electricians, just to name a few.
In order to do this, we need a lot of money. The good news is that there is a grant opportunity through the Economic Development Administration that may fit the bill. The grant is labeled as “Build Back Stronger” and it recently became available. However, this is a nationwide grant and there will be a lot of competition.
In order to be competitive, Milam County has partnered with Temple College, Texas Workforce Solutions and the Central Texas Council of Government to complete the application. In addition, we have decided to make a “regional” training center that is available to anyone, instead of limiting attendance to those of the county. All of this to make our application more competitive.
Last Friday, Oct. 8, we were visited by Temple College President, Dr. Christina Ponce and her staff, Dr. Linda Angel of Workforce Solutions and Mr. Jim Reed, Executive Director of the Central Texas Council of Government. We discussed the grant and application process and toured three businesses within the County including Butler Weldments, Whinstone and a mobile CDL training center owned by Mr. Keith Debault, a/k/a Reliant Workforce. This was an opportunity to see the great projects we have in the County and to see what we need.
The initial application for the grant is due next week. This will provide funding for a “think tank” of professionals to draft a thorough plan for what is needed, including the teaching component. Our plan is for Temple College to be the driving force for teaching at the center. After the master plan is drafted, we will submit the last application, which will be for the actual project. This will be a multimillion-dollar application.
All of this will take time as there is a lot to be considered and a lot of work to be done. But, we are thinking big! We are thinking of a training center for the region. We are thinking about training our Milam County youth right here in the county for jobs that are here and that are coming. We are thinking that a training center located right here in Milam County will draw other employers to the county where a trained workforce exists. We are thinking this may be the biggest single endeavor the county has ever undertaken and maybe the best!