PAEDC to pay for students’ CDL training

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Some Port Arthur residents may be able to get their Commercial Driver’s License training paid for courtesy of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation.

The board of directors of the PAEDC approved a training agreement with Lamar State College – Port Arthur for CDLA Driver’s Training Course.

Floyd Batiste, executive director for the PAEDC, said 100 percent of the cost of the program for qualified Port Arthur residents will be paid for.

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The cost of the program, however, increased from last year from $1,800 to $2,500 per student. The increase is due to the use of the rigs and testing is now done in Houston.

The previous contract was for $72,500 but is now $40,000 because not as many students are enrolled. Some students are taking the training through Texas Workforce Training.

There will be three billboards placed in the city, advertising for the PAEDC. They will be at Twin City Highway and Hogaboom Road, Gulfway Drive, and Highway 69 near the motels. The billboard will go up on Jan. 15.

It was reported Kelley’s Kitchen, a restaurant owned by Environmental Activist Hilton Kelley, was renovated under a contract with Operation Downtown. This is the last project for Operation Downtown and cost $77,000.

The board also discussed job training for industry.

Krystle Villarreal-Muller with the PAEDC met with industries about training Port Arthur residents. One model the PAEDC has used in the past was with Brock Industries.

Students would spend half the day in on the job training and the other half in life skills training.

She said industry officials liked that idea.

Other options are to hold offsite training or college internship programs.

She added that some industries are looking at interns who have a little experience in their field.

Another option is working with Port Arthur ISD with their School To Work program for different crafts.

Lastly, Batiste said an aerospace company in Southern California he visited with in November said there’s still some interest in moving to Port Arthur, but it’s a cost factor.

“He can’t move overnight,” he said.

David Ball: 409-721-2427