Trinity Valley Community College received one of almost $5 million in grants awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission for various forms of technical training.

The TVCC grant is for $279,139.

"Basically, this is for instructional equipment that will be used in Kaufman this year and in our new facility in Terrell next year," TVCC President Jerry King said.

For several years, health science courses have been taught in a building next to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Kaufman. The courses are so popular that the building is filled to capacity each year.

King said more than 100 people are on a waiting list to get into the program. The new building will expand the available space from 16,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet.

Statewide, the grants were allocated to public junior colleges, technical institutes, state colleges and independent school districts for programs that focus on supporting high-demand occupations through the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant program.

"We applied for the grant back in April and were very hopeful that we would get it," King said. "It's just a really great opportunity for our students to have access to state-of-the-art instructional equipment."

The major purchase will be three SimMAN mannequins. The SimMAN mannequin is a wireless human patient simulator that represents an average-size adult patient.

"These mannequins can do everything, including give birth or die," King said. "This will allow our students to look at realistic scenarios without having to deal with a real person."

The money will also fund the purchase of three hospital beds.

Qualifying educational institutions were awarded grants for the development of programs or courses leading to a license, certificate or post-secondary degree. The JET grant program focuses on projects that target high-demand jobs in new or emerging industries.

The JET program provides funding for equipment to eligible educational institutions to develop career and technical education courses and may include courses offering dual-credit and technical education programs. The equipment must be used to train students for jobs in high-demand occupations.

“By partnering with local colleges and independent school districts, these grants will help our future workforce to explore in-demand careers across various industries and prepare our future workforce to meet the needs of Texas employers for high-demand occupations, strengthening our workforce of tomorrow,” according to a press release.

The JET Advisory Board was established to help TWC in administering these grants. The six-member board meets at least once each quarter, or as needed, to review applications and make recommendations on grant awards.

Eligible educational institutions can apply for the next phase of JET funding through a competitive grant process. TWC has issued a request for application solicitation that provides information and instruction on how to submit a proposal packet. A link is provided on the JET Grant Program webpage, which can be used to access the RFA solicitation.

For more on the JET Program, visit texasworkforce.org/jet.