ORANGE, Texas — Lamar State College Orange was given more than $650,000 in grants for petrochemical training and equipment on Thursday morning thanks to the Texas Workforce Commission. 

The grants will help train students and employees with the latest equipment and skills needed for the industry. 

A 'Skills Development Fund' grant for a partnership with Arlanxeo worth $467,816 and a 'Jobs and Education for Texans' grant worth $184,908 were both presented to the school Thursday. 

The Skills Development Fund grant with Arlanxeo will provide training for more than 300 company employees. Much of the training will be done by LSCO. 

The Jobs and Education for Texans grant allowed the campus to purchase 'custom training equipment' used by students in the Industrial Technology program. More than 170 students have already used the equipment. 

RELATED: Motiva Petrochemical Training Facility opens at Lamar State College Port Arthur

From a Lamar State College Orange news release: 

In one ceremony Thursday, Lamar State College Orange accepted two grants from the Texas Workforce Commission totaling more than $650,000.

The two grants are paramount in educating and training students and local employees on the latest equipment and skills necessary for the petrochemical industry.

Presented by TWC Commissioner Aaron Demerson, Lamar State College Orange accepted a Skills Development Fund (SDF) grant for a partnership with Arlanxeo worth $467,816 and a Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant worth $184,908.

LSCO President, Dr. Thomas Johnson, expressed his gratitude to Commissioner Demerson for giving the college the ability to better educate students and better train business partners through the grant funding.

The SDF grant with Arlanxeo will provide training for more than 300 of the company’s employees. A significant portion of the training will be done by LSCO. The training grant ensures Arlanxeo is using the safest and most efficient processes to produce their primary product – rubber. Arlanxeo’s product is used in tires, seals, golf balls, and even chewing gum.

The JET grant allowed LSCO to purchase custom training equipment that is used by students in the Industrial Technology program. The equipment mirrors the same type of equipment that students will operate once they graduate and work in local petrochemical facilities. More than 170 LSCO students have already used the equipment since it arrived on campus.

Commissioner Demerson said partnerships like that of LSCO and Arlanxeo are the “secret sauce” that makes communities successful. He praised LSCO, local businesses, Economic Development Corporations, and Chambers of Commerce for working together to put people to work and create a successful local economy.

State Representative Dade Phelan attended the ceremony and said these grants, partnered with the lowered tuition at LSCO, provide opportunities to change lives in the area.

Both the SDF and JET grant were written by Thera Celestine, Director of LSCO’s Community and Workforce Education program.

Lamar State College Orange
Lamar State College Orange

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