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Gov. Perry Announces Keppel AmFELS to Expand in Brownsville

Location: Brownsville, TX

Gov. Perry Announces Keppel AmFELS to Expand in Brownsville

$350,000 Job Training Grant Allows Company to Train 450 New and Existing Workers

Gov. Rick Perry today announced that Keppel AmFELS, a global leader in offshore platform manufacturing, will create 150 new jobs in Brownsville thanks to a $350,000 job training grant from the Skills Development Fund. The funds will allow the University of Texas at Brownsville to develop a comprehensive training program for these new workers and 300 existing employees.

"We have made job creation a priority because good jobs can lift working families out of poverty, renew their hope in the American dream and generate the revenue needed to pay for critical priorities like education and healthcare," Perry said.

AmFELS is the largest private employer in Cameron County and its strong growth has increased the demand for skilled workers. This grant will not only allow AmFELS to meet that demand, but also equip local workers with the skills needed for jobs that will pay more than $10 an hour.

"Our investments in workforce training are just as important as our efforts to attract jobs because economic development and workforce development go hand in hand," Perry said. "Without a skilled workforce, we will never be able to attract the jobs of tomorrow."

Perry noted other steps Texas has taken recently to improve worker training in the Rio Grande Valley, including providing $963,282 in discretionary and other federal funds to help Texas State Technical College in Harlingen develop an advanced manufacturing and integrated systems technology training and employment program. The state also provided an additional $500,000 to the college to train 450 workers at small and medium-sized businesses throughout the region.

Perry has also committed to working with legislators to double funding for the Skills Development Fund to $50 million.

"An increased investment in a skilled workforce will help Texas keep the economic momentum we have built in recent years and expand opportunity for all our people," Perry said.

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