Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas, receieved a $147,098 grant as part of the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program recently, to help the college fund its Alternative/Sustainable Energy curriculum, which trains students for jobs in the wind energy industry. The grant money, along with money provided by the college, helped pay for the technology to provide hands-on training for students, as well as a new, 50-foot, 3.5 kiowatt wind turbine on the Eastfield campus.
Right now, Texas is said to be facing a shortage of skilled workers needed to fill positions in industries including engineering, science, mechanical, and health care. The JET program, created in 2009, was designed to help the state meet the demand and give Texas’s industries a more stable future. During the past two years, the program has awarded a total of $10 million to 39 colleges districts, three state colleges and two technical colleges. About 8,288 students are estimated to benefit from JET funding.
“Eastfield College’s Alternative and Sustainable Energy training program is helping meet the need in Texas for workers with technical skills to work in this new and rapidly growing sector of the energy industry,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, who delivered the grant money to Eastfield College.
Chairman of Electronics and Electronic Systems Technology Dr. Chuck Dale says the JET grant is integral to thew education of students at Eastfield College. “Without the JET grant, I do not believe Eastfield College, in these troubled financial times, could afford to equip a renewable energy program,” he said.