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.
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.