The Texas Workforce Commission awarded two Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grants in the East Texas area to support career training, one of which was awarded to Kilgore College.

KC has been awarded $279,296 to purchase safety equipment in the form of firefighting turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus systems. The equipment will help the college to initially provide 130 students with a real-world fire scenario training in the safest possible environment. The equipment funded through these grants will be used to train more students in the future.

JET grants from the Texas Workforce Commission “provide funds to eligible entities to purchase and install equipment necessary for the development of career and technical education (CTE) courses or programs that lead to a license, certificate or post-secondary degree in a high-demand occupation.”

The grant was presented Thursday to the college by Aaron Demerson from the Texas Workforce Commission.

KC will use the grant to purchase additional safety equipment such as firefighting turnout gear and self-contained breathing apparatus systems.

It will also help fund an addition to the state-of-the-art live fire training unit, giving academy instructors the ability to better simulate real word live-fire scenarios in the safest possible environment.

Through funding provided by the Legislature each biennium, TWC’s JET grants are used to defray start-up costs of developing career and technical education programs to public community, state, and technical colleges, and school districts.

During the 87th Texas Legislative Session, open enrollment charter schools and the Windham School District were also added as eligible applicants. Equipment funded through JET grants must be used to train students for jobs in high-demand occupations.

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I'm an East Texas native with degrees from University of North Texas and Kilgore College. I've been reporting and taking photographs for Kilgore News Herald since May 2018. Telling the story of a growing and changing community is the best part of my job.

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