The petrochemical industry on the Gulf Coast, now bolstered by massive new investments due to shale gas, faces a challenge in securing well-qualified staff for high-demand skilled trades. This opens up opportunities for military veterans, believes the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Austin. It has launched a “Veteran and Industry Partnership” (VIP) initiative to train veterans in the skills needed for such jobs.
The TWC has allocated $4.3 million for the initiative, which includes specific efforts related to three industries — petrochemicals, advanced manufacturing and information technology — and involves 17 colleges. The program offers veterans an expedited path to achieving industry-recognized credentials. In addition, it covers tuition, fees and books for most of the courses, so there’s no cost to qualified veterans taking them, explains Lisa Givens of the TWC.