EMORY, Texas (KETK) – Texas schools are applying for the governor’s technical education grant. Rains ISD received the grant and plans to invest in their high school welding program.

In December, Gov. Abbott said he was awarded $54 million for career programs, technical programs and schools. Rains ISD received $611,027, which will go to purchasing and installing equipment that will help 150 students.

“I was excited because we get a lot of new equipment in the shop, therefore we can do more things,” said John McAllister, a welding student.

Robert Fisher, the welding instructor, and Rains ISD CTE Director was overjoyed when they received the grant. “The equipment that we are working on right now was here when the building was built, and from talking to some of the past ag teachers, that was 1976,” said Fisher.

Students learn to build fire pits, trailers, smokers and several other items in class. “Hand tools all the way up to learning a little bit of welding starting off, then the intro to mechanics,” said Fisher.  He said the new equipment will be beneficial. “Learning on those styles, that they will be going to some of the trailer manufacturers here,” said Fisher.

This course has a big impact on students’ futures. “The people who are in the welding program, at least 40% of them gain job certification so that they are job-ready when they graduate high school,” said Holly Wasson director of creative services, at Rains ISD.

Across East Texas, there were 11 school districts that received CTE grants. Cayuga, Diboll, Harts Bluff, Redwater, Winnsboro and Woodville are the school districts that received funding for the same programs.

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