Rural Development Partners (Forest City, IA) and NMTC partner Audubon Metals (Corsicana, TX) awarded a matching funds grant of $140,000 to strengthen workforce development in the Corsicana region. Workforce development is one of the primary challenges companies and communities face today. As manufacturing processes continue to evolve through advances in technology, the importance of a trained and skilled workforce is critical to the growth and success of manufacturing companies. Through RDP’s Community Investment Program, community leaders identified the need for Industrial Manufacturing Technology education. This workforce development initiative would provide skilled workforce for their expanding industrial base, and employment opportunities for community residents to obtain a successful career. Corsicana High School together with Navarro College and Foundation have stepped up to provide these educational opportunities.
Corsicana High School
Corsicana High School will receive $53,000 to address equipment and infrastructure needs for their existing lab, enhancing their ability to offer a dual credit certification alongside Navarro College for Industrial Maintenance Tech students.
“Corsicana High School is grateful for this investment in our students and community. This grant provides opportunities to strengthen our students’ skills and career outlook in high-needs sectors of the workforce,” stated Corsicana High School Principal, Sean Kays.
Corsicana ISD Superintendent, Dr. Diane Frost, remarked on the opportunities this partnership grant extends to Corsicana High students, “This grant partnership is great for our students, and it benefits the greater Corsicana community as well. Local workforce development is a central focus for CISD. We believe working with Navarro College and Audubon Metals will provide additional workforce skills and real-life job experiences for our students that will prepare them for successful careers after graduation.”
Navarro College will receive $70,000 to upgrade and replace existing equipment which will be tailored to meet the needs of the local workforce.
“Navarro College is excited to be a part of this opportunity that furthers our vision to be a nationally recognized higher education institution committed to providing innovative career pathways and student-centered learning opportunities that result in students capable of succeeding in local communities,” said Dr. Tara Peters, Navarro College Executive Dean of Workforce, Career & Technical Education.
Navarro College Foundation will receive $17,000 to offer “last dollar” scholarships to dual credit IMT students and Navarro County residents to help cover the cost of tuition for IMT education in Year 5 when they start at Navarro, and for summer courses if offered.
Educational courses that will be offered at Corsicana High School Years 1-4 include: Blueprint Reading for Manufacturing Applications, Occupational Safety & Environmental Technology I & II (OSET/OSHA), and Practicum in Manufacturing.
Courses offered at Navarro College Years 3-5 (providing 3 credit hours each) include: INMT 2345 Industrial Troubleshooting, RBTC 1309 Pneumatics, ELPT 1311 Basic Electrical Theory, INTC 1305 Intro to Instrumentation, and PTRT 1313 Industrial Safety.
“This program will have an impact on Corsicana, Navarro County and the entire region. Developing a skilled workforce is key to growing the economy, said John Boswell, Director of Economic Development for Corsicana and Navarro County. “It is a quality-of-life factor.”
Audubon Metals – Texas
“I am confident that this grant will help to provide much needed IMT training opportunities and educational programs, for the good of residents and manufacturers in the Corsicana, TX region. Audubon is privileged to be in cooperation with our friends at Corsicana High School, Navarro College, and Rural Development Partners.” – Brian Hawkes, President of Audubon Metals
Audubon Metals is a manufacturing facility that recycles Zorba (automobile residue) for the production of secondary aluminum alloys for die-castings. Audubon Metals has received vast community support in anticipation of the expected economic boost to Corsicana and the surrounding area. The Company will serve as the industrial park’s anchor tenant, spurring additional private investment in the community.
Rural Development Partners
“RDP has been privileged to work with Audubon Metals and our community partners in and around Corsicana to support and enhance technical training programs that will benefit workers and employers in Navarro County, Texas,” – Jonathan Klaassen, CEO of Rural Development Partners.
Rural Development Partners is a certified Community Development Entity that has won ten New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) awards from the U.S. Treasury totaling $656.7 million. In 2020, RDP partnered with Audubon Metals Texas to help the company expand and anchor an industrial park in Corsicana to bring quality jobs and spur economic development in the region. In addition, RDP, through its Community Investment Program, asked Audubon Metals to donate $70,000 to support workforce development initiatives in Corsicana and the surrounding area. RDP provided matching funds for a total grant of $140,000. Audubon Metals and RDP worked with community leaders to determine the most impactful use of the grant funds.
Rural Development Partners utilizes the NMTC Program to help organizations throughout the nation build and expand their operations in distressed rural communities. RDP investments help create jobs, economic growth, training opportunities, and food security for Rural America by partnering with organizations that take action to invest in and support their local communities.