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Milam County leaders aim to build job training center

Officials apply for federal grant to get the project started
Posted at 12:16 AM, Oct 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-16 01:16:23-04

CAMERON, TX — Milam County administrators are seeking to establish a job training facility in the local area, which would educate, empower, and certify the local population; and potentially draw a new industry to the region.

Milam County Judge Steve Young formally submitted a grant request this afternoon to the federal government’s Economic Development Administration [EDA]. The grant, known as the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, would allocate potentially millions in funding towards the establishment of a regional training center.

"This is a huge opportunity for the county," Young said. "We are so excited about this. We partnered with Temple College, Texas Workforce Solutions, and the Central Texas Council of Governments.”

The center would provide job training and certification opportunities for those wanting to learn a trade without pursuing the college route. Cameron ISD superintendent Kevin Sprinkles said that his district has been working to provide professional certification routes for high school students wanting to enter the workforce shortly after graduating. While the district has several CTE courses, it can’t facilitate all manner of trades.

“Something like this regional training facility potentially could fill that gap," expressed Sprinkles. "It could be those types of technical training that we can’t provide at the high school.”

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge has $1 billion to allocate, including as much as $100 million to give to 'coal communities like Milam County.

“We lost ALCOA, who had come here for a large supply of coal," Judge Young explained. "We lost that business 15 years ago, and we are clearly coal distressed. The good news is, there’s money in that.”

Young feels hopeful about the county’s application as it moves forward for review.

“There’s a huge demand today for non-college graduates to fill the jobs," he stated. "... This would be a huge opportunity for us to have a training center in Milam County, that would not only serve us but all the surrounding counties.”