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PA EDC enters into on-the-job training agreement

 

Port Arthur residents will have added opportunity to get a good paying job now that the city’s Economic Development Corporation has signed on to help pay for an on-the-job training program.

EDC board members on Monday agreed to pay an amount not to exceed $2,400 per trainees for Port Arthur residents enrolled learning to weld at Team Fabricators.

Team Fabricators will pay 50 percent of the trainees’ costs, while the EDC will pay the remainder up to $12,000.

EDC Director Floyd Batiste said Team Fabricators has offered a training program for Port Arthur residents who want to learn to weld. To qualify for a full-time permanent job, the trainees must have passed two welding tests within about a three-month period.

Those who do not pass the test are eligible for the additional training.

EDC Director Floyd Batiste said learning to weld and pass the test in the three-month period could be difficult for some, especially those who start the program with no skills.

The initial program is a joint training partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Workforce Solutions, the EDC and Team Fabricators.

Since the program started, 12 Port Arthur residents have graduated. Two of those employed were terminated because of absenteeism, and another two have not yet passed their test. Of the 12, eight who are working, and making $22 an hour.

“Little by little, with programs such as this one, Port Arthur people are going to work and putting economic dollars back into the community,” Batiste said.

The EDC also agreed to provide an infrastructure incentive to PA 69; a development company that is planning to put in another restaurant on property the company has already partially developed. The property is located at Jimmy Johnson Blvd. and U.S. 69.

Batiste said the developer, Kerry LaGrone, is not ready to name the restaurant, but it will likely be built near Saltgrass Steakhouse.

Another existing business owned by the company in the same vicinity will be expanded by 13,000 feet.

The EDC also approved a letter of intent from Ana Mexican Bakery, a Port Arthur business that wants to expand its existing facility at Gulfway Drive. The expansion should result in an additional eight to 10 Port Arthur jobs.

E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews