Temple College has received a $200,000 grant from the William Stamps Farish Fund to support two new workforce development initiatives.

Part of the two-year grant will cover the cost of hiring the college’s new vice president for workforce development. DeDe Griffith, an experienced workforce and technical education administrator, was named to fill this position in July.

The remainder of the grant will provide training modules for a new signature program in the emerging field of mechatronics technician training. Mechatronics, also called electro-mechanical engineering technology, is a career pathway that trains technicians with multi-craft skills to work on intelligent equipment and robotics ranging from ATM machines to multi-million-dollar manufacturing cells. Skills taught include electrical, mechanical, pneumatics, hydraulics and engineering technology.

“Central Texas is experiencing substantial growth in manufacturing, advanced technologies and engineering-related opportunities for employment. This program will contribute to the tech-ready workforce demand in the area as more businesses and industries recognize Temple as a driver in the region,” Griffith said.

Griffith confirmed the program is already under development. Non-credit workforce courses will begin in fall 2021 with an Associate of Applied Science degree proposed to begin fall 2022. Once fully developed, the program will include options for high school dual enrollment, veterans who have prior learning experience and an adult education track. In the final semester of the program, students will engage in a work-based learning experience such as an internship.

“We are grateful to the Farish Fund for their support of this new initiative,” Griffith said.

The William Stamps Farish Fund is based in Houston and supports education, health, social service and faith-based programs in several states, including Texas.