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Texas Workforce Commission awards $287,500 grant to Blinn, FUJIFILM, G-CON Manufacturing, Koppers, and Silversage

Funds provide training for 187 employees in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic

May 13, 2021

The Texas Workforce Commission presented the Blinn College District, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Texas, LLC; G-CON Manufacturing, Inc.; Koppers, Inc.; and Silversage Assisted Living and Memory Care, LLC a $287,500 grant today to upgrade the skills of local employees in response to the impact and demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson made the announcement during a virtual ceremony alongside Blinn College Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley and G-CON Manufacturing Vice President for Business Management Sid Backstrom, with recorded remarks from Blinn College District Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, Technical Education, and Community Programs Jay Anderson.

“Blinn is proud to meet the training needs of these businesses as they continue to serve our community despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District. “With the support of the Texas Workforce Commission, these partnerships benefit local companies, their employees, and the communities they serve.”

The grant is expected to train 251 FUJIFILM, G-Con, Koppers, and Silversage employees in direct response to COVID-19 pandemic needs, and 187 already have completed the program. Courses include blood-borne pathogens, certified nurse aide (with clinical experiences), COVID-19 safety, CPR/first aid, dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease care and treatment, electrical troubleshooting, fire safety, industrial safety, and industrial truck and scissor lift operation.

The Skills Development Fund provides local customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce. Since January 2018, Blinn has partnered with local businesses to provide more than $4 million in safety and skills training with the support of Skills Development Fund grants.

“Skills Development Fund grants deliver customized training solutions that help Texas businesses and their employees thrive in today’s competitive business environment,” Anderson said. “This investment from the Texas Workforce Commission builds the skills of local employees, ensuring that these talented individuals remain at the forefront of their industry.”

Businesses, consortiums and trade unions with more than 100 employees are encouraged to contact the College at 979-209-7205 to explore partnering with Blinn for Skills Development Fund training opportunities. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees may be eligible for Skills for Small Business grants, and also are encouraged to contact Blinn for more information.

Blinn strengthens the economy by helping job seekers obtain the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the workplace, and by partnering with local businesses to offer training opportunities for incumbent and new employees. For more information on Blinn’s technical and community education programs, including class schedules and registration information, visit

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