VC, TWC partnership funds job training for small businesses

One small business in Victoria seeking job training for its workers just got a boost through the Texas Workforce Commission’s Skills for Small Business program. Through a partnership between Victoria College and TWC, the program provides job-training funding for newly hired or existing full-time employees of businesses with fewer than 100 workers.

"This is a great opportunity for small businesses,” said Sherri Pall, VC Workforce & Continuing Education director. “Victoria College is committed in supporting small business owners' efforts to develop talent within their organizations and enhancing the skills of their workforce."

That commitment was put into action when Victoria College was recently awarded a contract to train two employees of K&S Machine Company in Victoria.

“We are grateful and honored to be a recipient of the TWC Skills for Small Business and to further the education of our employees,” said Bea Dickerson, K&S Machine Co. administrator. “We have two employees, Marcus Wright and Brian Upchurch, who will be participating.”

Wright and Upchurch will be taking machine shop math classes this fall.

K&S is a small, six-employee machine company started in 1997 by owner Craig Staff. It creates parts for functioning industrial machines for the oilfield industry and local businesses such as Caterpillar Victoria, Berry Plastics and Victoria Precision Alloys, Inc.

TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said that helping small business owners builds a better community.

"Providing small business owners the skilled workforce they need helps build a healthy local economy,” Alcantar said. “We recognize the important role of small businesses in Texas communities and are committed to supporting their workforce needs throughout the state.”

Training through Skills for Small Business can help private for-profit businesses become more competitive by increasing employee skills with free or reduced-cost training. Since the program’s inception in 2010, the Skills for Small Business program has funded training for more than 2,700 workers from more than 425 small businesses throughout Texas.

When a qualifying small business identifies a training need, courses may be selected based on classes offered at Victoria College. The program covers tuition and fees for employees who participate in an existing course applicable to a business need. Up to $1,450 may be approved for newly hired workers, and existing employees may be eligible for up to $725. Newly-hired workers include those who were hired within 12 months prior to receipt of the application.

Under the program, Victoria College has previously trained employees of klean corp international and Sparkman Industries, Inc.

Employers seeking more information about the Skills for Small Business program, including applications and information about how to apply, can contact Rachel Nessel at (361) 582-2575 or by email at Additional information is available on the TWC website at:

Photo caption: K&S Machine Co. machinist apprentices Brian Upchurch, left, and Marcus Wright, stand next to a milling machine. Both men will take machine shop math classes this fall as part of the Skills for Small Business program offered through a partnership between Victoria College and the Texas Workforce Commission.

Published: Thursday, 16 July 2015

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