Donna ISD to Expand TRPN CTE’s Welding Program

Jan. 2024 Newsletter | Vol. 5 | Is. 6

The following is taken from the Donna ISD Web Page. RGV LEAD shares this information with school districts across the Rio Grande Valley to show how the TRPN grant has helped TRPN programs grow.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for welders is projected to grow 8 percent by 2030. New construction, transportation projects, and natural gas pipelines contribute to the growing demand for skilled welders.

Because of the immense interest in the profession, Donna ISD is making significant strides to expand the district’s welding program and support it with the latest technology and equipment. Earlier this year, the district, in partnership with Vanguard Academy and Raymondville ISD, submitted a proposal to the Texas Workforce Commission seeking funding from the Texas Regional Pathways Network (TRPN). The proposal yielded a grant for $272,292 that was awarded to Donna ISD.

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department oversees the welding program and is incredibly proud.

CTE Director David Moreno said:

Donna ISD and our CTE Department strive to expand opportunities for students to explore their interests and develop skills while still in high school. Thank you to the Texas Workforce Commission for their commitment to supporting our district and awarding this grant to Donna ISD’s welding program. It will allow our students to expand their skill set and be more competitive and marketable once they enter the workforce.

The grant funding will be used to hire an additional welding instructor, allowing the district to add 24 more students to its program. The money will also go toward purchasing state-of-the-art welding machines, track torch kits, PlasmaCAM cutting systems, and other machinery.

Donna High School and Donna North High School students in the welding program were thrilled to hear of the expansion and new additions. They plan to reenroll next year.

Donna North High School (DNHS) welding student Bryan Salinas said:

I was excited to learn we were getting new equipment. We can test and learn new things significantly since technology is advancing rapidly. I want to learn as much as possible because it’s a good skill you can use anywhere, like making your projects.

DNHS welding student Sergio Lara was ecstatic to learn about the grant funding.

The new equipment and technology we’re getting is advanced, which means new learning opportunities. I know a lot of jobs will have the latest welding equipment we’re going to have.

Donna High School (DHS) welding student Oscar Aguilar echoed his classmates’ sentiments.

We are excited about this grant because it will benefit us and future generations of Donna ISD welding students. It will pave the way for more opportunities and learning experiences.

Because of their enthusiasm and interest, Salinas, Lara, Aguilar, and DHS welding students Aguilar and Juan Buenrostro were chosen as ambassadors to help promote the new and enhanced program.

Juan Buenrostro said:

I was very excited and happy that my classmates and I were chosen as ambassadors. I’m willing to do whatever we need to expand this welding program for those who want to join.

CTE Director Moreno said the new equipment is expected to come in by the start of the upcoming school year. A teacher will also be hired by then. In addition to the Texas Workforce Commission’s backing, Moreno also thanked the Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, RGV LEAD, and South Texas College for their support and guidance in helping Donna ISD’s weld-ing students acquire the skills and credentials needed for economic advancement.

Congratulations, Donna ISD on the expansion of the TRPN welding labs!

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