Economic Development Corporation Awards $30,000 Grant for Pflugerville ISD Welding Program
PFLUGERVILLE, Texas—The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation (PCDC) today announced it awarded the Pflugerville Education Foundation (PEF) a $30,000 grant for the Pflugerville ISD welding program. The PEF presented a $30,000 check to Pflugerville ISD at the Jan. 17 school board meeting.
“As a 4B corporation focused on economic development, it is strategic for the PCDC to support and fund this Pflugerville ISD job training program,” PCDC Executive Director Floyd Akers said. “Having a strong local workforce is key to attracting top businesses to the area.”
Workers drawn to the Shell Pipeline and the Golden Triangle area in Southeast Texas have left a shortage of welders Central Texas. Local welders today can make $18 to $32 per hour, according to Ameri-Force.
Pflugerville ISD offers two elective welding courses at Hendrickson High School: Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Technologies, and Agricultural Facilities Design and Fabrication. The first level course provides a semester of content that is dedicated to welding, while the second level course dedicates the entire year to skill. The courses are held at Hendrickson High School; however, students from the other two Pflugerville ISD high schools can also enroll in the courses.
Pflugerville ISD has an articulation agreement in place with Austin Community College to allow students to earn college credit by successfully completing both high school welding courses.
“With the collaboration and support of the PCDC, together we can continue to help fund great initiatives like the PISD welding program to make a difference in our community,” PEF Director Allison Murray said.
The PCDC grant, which was awarded to the Pflugerville Education Foundation (PEF) and then donated in full to Pflugerville ISD, will be used to purchase new, state-of-the-art welding equipment. The PEF and the PCDC plan to continue working together to support the Pflugerville community.
“Pflugerville ISD will continue to add resources to this program area as needed to support the students,” said Ryan Merritt, director of the Career and Technical Education Program at Pflugerville ISD. “Strengthening the welding program will help move the district closer to our goal of ensuring all students are college- and career-ready upon graduation.”
Pflugerville ISD has experienced a substantial increase in the number of high school students enrolled welding courses. Hendrickson High School has 65 students enrolled in the two welding classes this academic school year, whereas 38 students were enrolled in the one welding course that was available last school year.
“The equipment provided by this contribution will help support larger class sizes as well as provide students with experiences using newer welding technologies,” said PEF President Victor Gonzales. “Hendrickson High School already had the essential equipment needed to provide students with hands-on experiences in welding, but the funding provided by the PCDC allow the district to take job training to the next level.”
About the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation
The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation promotes Pflugerville as a desirable place for new businesses to operate. The organization also supports existing businesses by helping to address their needs. PCDC can provide funding for use as an incentive to businesses to begin doing business in Pflugerville. PCDC funds, which are 4B money generated from a half-cent of the city’s sales tax revenue, can also be used to construct needed infrastructure such as roads, utilities and drainage projects. Located 16 miles northeast of Austin and just south of Round Rock, Pflugerville is well-situated in Central Texas. New state highways 45 and 130 and Interstate Highway 35 all offer direct access to other nearby cities and the region’s main airport. For more information, visit www.pfdevelopment.com.
About the Pflugerville Education Foundation
The Pflugerville Education Foundation (PEF) is a nonprofit organization created by local businesses and community leaders to make a positive impact on public education. An independent board of directors comprised of business and community leaders, parents and alumni in the Greater Pflugerville community govern the PEF.
PEF supports Innovative Teaching Grants and the annual Teacher of the Year Program. Annual PEF events include the Schoolhouse Scramble Golf Tournament and the Evening of Stars Gala.