UP Supports Texas Diesel-Tech Training Program – RailwayAge Magazine

UP Supports Texas Diesel-Tech Training Program – RailwayAge Magazine

Written by Union Pacific, Corporate Communications
A group of SWTJC students huddle around the $380,000 contribution check from UP. Behind the check are, from left, Ken Kuwamura (in light blue), Manager-Talent Acquisition, UP; Raquel Espinoza, Senior Director-Public Affairs, UP; Esmerelda Arreola, SWTJC Diesel Technology Program Lab Assistant; Texas State Rep. Eddie Morales and his wife, Helen Morales; and Tom Blevins, Superintendent-Train Operations, UP. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of UP)

A group of SWTJC students huddle around the $380,000 contribution check from UP. Behind the check are, from left, Ken Kuwamura (in light blue), Manager-Talent Acquisition, UP; Raquel Espinoza, Senior Director-Public Affairs, UP; Esmerelda Arreola, SWTJC Diesel Technology Program Lab Assistant; Texas State Rep. Eddie Morales and his wife, Helen Morales; and Tom Blevins, Superintendent-Train Operations, UP. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of UP)

When Southwest Texas Junior College’s (SWTJC) Diesel Technology Program in Eagle Pass had to turn away some students due to a lack of space and resources, Union Pacific (UP) stepped in.

Inspired by the growing need for workforce development initiatives, UP is partnering with SWTJC to expand industrial trade careers through the La Frontera (“The Border”) Diesel Program Expansion Project.

A rendering of the Technical Training Center facility at Southwest Texas Junior College, which will expand from 5,300 square feet to 7,450 square feet. (Caption and Rendering Courtesy of UP)

This expansion is expected to increase the program’s admittance capacity by 40%, nearly doubling the 30 students the program currently supports.

Catalyzing the project is a $380,000 contribution from UP through the Class I railroad’s Community Ties Giving Program, supporting the careers of hundreds of students in southwest Texas communities. The contribution focuses on the expansion of the diesel technology training area, as well as purchasing specialized, hands-on training equipment.

Spearheading UP’s involvement in the Diesel Program Expansion Project is Senior Director-Public Affairs Raquel Espinoza, who emphasizes the need for diesel mechanics in the area. She also said students will graduate from the program equipped with skills that would make them a good fit for the UP team.

“The goal of this partnership is to encourage students to continue their education and see themselves working as trade professionals at either Union Pacific or other successful companies,” said Johnny Guzman, SWTJC Dean of Applied Sciences. “These efforts will extend to various technical trade programs in the applied sciences and workforce education departments, such as professional truck driving, powerline technician, welding technology and automotive technology.”

SWTJC’s Diesel Technology Program building expansion is expected to be completed in August 2023.

This article was originally published in the Inside Track section of the UP website.

Front Row: Judy Canales, Maverick County Economic Development Alliance Executive Director; Esmerelda Arreola, SWTJC Diesel Technology Program Lab Assistant; Eagle Pass Mayor Pro-Tem Yolanda Ramon; Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas; Raquel Espinoza, Senior Director-Public Affairs, UP; SWTJC Board President Dr. Harry Watkins; Southwest Texas Junior College President Dr. Hector Gonzales; SWTJC Board Member Victor Lopez; SWTJC Board Vice President Dr. Antonio Rivera; Eagle Pass ISD Board President Jorge Barrera. Second Row: Ken Kuwamura (in light blue), Manager-Talent Acquisition, UP; SWTJC Diesel Instructor Victor Caballero; Texas State Rep. Eddie Morales; SWTJC Diesel Instructor Lucas Limbrick; SWTJC Dean of Applied Sciences & Workforce Education Johnny Guzman; Tom Blevins, Superintendent-Train Operations, UP; and Eagle Pass City Manager George Antuna. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of UP)

Further Reading: UP, Lone Star College Training Truckers With Simulated Rail Crossings

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