TJC job-training grant project receives high marks from U.S. Department of Labor review

Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor recently conducted an on-site program review of the ACT-On Retail Management Careers Project at Tyler Junior College, and TJC received high marks.

The project is part of a $12 million Department of Labor grant won by TJC and three other community colleges in 2012. TJC serves as the lead college in the consortium, which also includes: Cerritos (Calif.) College, Clackamas (Ore.) Community College, and the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

TJC – the only Texas institution chosen as a lead college in the program – heads the grant project that will build the capacity of the colleges to train Trade Adjustment Assistance-eligible and other adult workers for new careers in grocery retail management through an industry-endorsed curriculum and certificate that is highly valued in the grocery industry and will bring multiple employment opportunities.

The Department of Labor monitoring visit was conducted on site at TJC by a team of three monitors; however, records from all four campuses involved in the grant consortium were reviewed.

Criteria for the grant-monitoring visit covered five categories, including: design and governance, program and grant management systems, financial management systems, service/product delivery and performance accountability; and the program received favorable marks in all categories.

The TJC grant proposal stemmed from a retail management certificate program launched in 2012 through a partnership between TJC, Tyler-based Brookshire Grocery Company and the Western Association of Food Chains. The nine-course program prepares students for career opportunities and upward mobility in the retail industry, and credits earned can potentially apply to more advanced educational programs such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

“The greater Tyler area is extremely innovative when it comes to collaborative efforts among business and industry, the economic development corporations and chambers of commerce, and Tyler Junior College,” said Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs. 

“We are honored by the opportunity to collaborate with the Brookshire Grocery Company and their very capable leadership team.”

By the end of the grant period in 2016, the ACT-On consortium will train and certify more than 2,600 students to enter low- to mid-level management positions in retail and other related industries.

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