Students enrolled in welding classes at Fort Bend ISD’s Technical Education Center will benefit from a $10,000 Fort Bend Education Foundation (FBEF) grant funded by engineering and construction company Fluor Corporation. Representatives of Fluor and the FBEF awarded the grant to welding teacher, Billy Canales, during a special presentation at the center.
The funding will be applied toward the purchase of several new welding machines and a horizontal band saw to allow students to practice on the latest equipment used in industry. With the life expectancy of the machines at 10 years, the school anticipates that approximately 700 students will utilize the equipment over the next 10 years.
“STEM enrichment opportunities such as the welding program at the Fort Bend Technical Education Center is exactly what’s required to be successful in preparing and recruiting the next generation of innovators that society and companies like Fluor require to compete in the future,” said Andy Ralph, Executive Director of Sales at Fluor and President-Elect of the Fort Bend Education Foundation. “That is one of the reasons why STEM education is so important to Fluor. We are pleased to be a partner with Fort Bend ISD and the Fort Bend Education Foundation in this program that will give 700 students the opportunity to become certified welding technicians over the next 10 years.”
“It was a great honor for my welding program to receive this grant,” said Billy Canales, welding teacher. “We anticipate a great business partnership with Fluor and cannot thank them enough for their contribution. I feel this is a win-win partnership for our students.”
Canales said that the campus goal is for each student to leave the center earning at least one industry certification. “The welding students have the potential to earn an OSHA Safety Certification in addition to multiple welding certifications,” said Canales. “The new equipment will allow students to practice on industry equivalent equipment, making them more employable in an ever-changing global market.”