BROWNSVILLE, Texas – John Sharp, chancellor for the Texas A&M University System, visited the Port of Brownsville recently to announce a new initiative to invigorate advanced manufacturing in the area.

The Texas A&M RGV Advanced Manufacturing/Training Innovation Now (TRAIN) program is designed to enhance the skills needed for workers wishing to find employment at the Port of Brownsville.

The Texas AM Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) are heading up the initiative. In two years, through TRAIN, the two groups will award 10,000 certificates through online and on-site classes, in both English and Spanish.

There will be no cost to participants, thanks to $10 million in funding secured by state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., during the recent regular legislative session. If the program is a success, Texas A&M will try to secure more funding from the Legislature to make it sustainable.

“I am proud to be part of this innovative initiative that will provide robust training opportunities to the people of South Texas,” Sharp said. “With the new TRAIN initiative, the Texas A&M System continues its mission of education and service by partnering with our colleagues in the Rio Grande Valley to provide no-cost training to community members interested in being part of the rapidly expanding advanced manufacturing workforce.”

Sharp said special thanks must go to state Sen. Eddie Lucio and Texas A&M System Regent Mike Hernandez for helping make the initiative possible.

“TEES and TEEX are uniquely positioned to offer expertise in workforce training in the much sought-after area of manufacturing,” said Dr. John E. Hurtado, interim vice chancellor for engineering and interim agency director of TEES.

“By providing training to the people of the Rio Grande Valley – at no cost thanks to the Texas Legislature – we have the opportunity to help people improve not only their employment options but also their lives.”

Courses will soon be getting underway. Visit to register for training and to learn more.

In addition to Sharp, Lucio, and Hernandez, the news conference also heard remarks from Brownsville Navigation District Chairman Sergio “Tito” Lopez, Texas Workforce Commissioner Julian Alvarez, state Reps. Eddie Lucio, III, and state Rep. Alex Dominguez.

In his remarks, Alvarez gave a shoutout to FIRST RGV for its programs that help students learn how to build rockets.

The emcee was Port Director Eduardo Campirano. 

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