Planning is underway for the revamp of Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s auto collision and repair courses thanks to a Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission.
The JET program will disburse almost $300,000 towards the upgrade of class equipment to meet industry standards and will offer HCISD students a new opportunity to gain college credit towards certification or an associate’s degree in the auto collision field.
“The Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant will bring auto collision and repair concepts to life in the classroom giving our students the hands-on experience they need to be successful in the field and the opportunity to earn college credit,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “We thank the Texas Workforce Commission for their outstanding commitment to education and are grateful for our partnership that will enhance the learning experience for our students.”
Auto collision and repair courses housed at Harlingen High School are going to see major improvements with the purchase of an industrial painting booth, auto body rotisserie, frame rack, lifts, auto and painting software, an iMac lab, and iPad Pros among other items.
Up to now, students have only been gaining the experience, but with these advancements, students will have the opportunity to earn credit towards Certificate 1 and 2 in Auto Collision Generalist Specialist or an associate’s degree in Auto Collision Technology at Texas State Technical College. Furthermore, students will have the benefits of continued certification and endorsement by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) as well as local job placement.
“There’s a huge interest in auto collision and repair from our students,” said Special Projects and Grants Specialist Jessica Hruska. “We already have a shop and an experienced teacher who teaches the course, we just need to bring the facilities up to industry standards. This will give students the chance to earn as much as 10 out of the 60 credits they would need towards an associate’s in auto collision technology. We are also hoping to make a class available during the summer.”
The district will go through a bidding process over the following weeks, and the new equipment is projected to be up and running just in time for the 2017 spring semester.
The JET program supports new, emerging industries or high-demand occupations by allocating $10 million each biennium for eligible educational institutions to meet the costs associated with developing career and technical education programs.