Kaemark Inc. Secures $221,000 Workforce Training Grant; Partners with Blinn College

30 Oct 2016

Giddings, TX (October 14, 2016) -  The GEDC is pleased to announce that manufacturing client Kaemark, Inc. has been awarded a $221,699 training grant by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Kaemark, a local furniture manufacturer that has been in business in Giddings since the mid-1970's, has in recent years expanded its operations from 40 to more than 100 employees and is now the nation's largest provider of salon furniture.

In addition to expanding its salon furniture operations, the company is also branching into new business lines of service, to include the manufacture of commercial furniture for schools and fast-casual restaurants.  The $221,699 grant will be used to provide safety and skills training for new and incumbent employees to ensure the company has the labor force necessary to meet demand. 

Blinn College faculty will conduct approximately 5,104 hours of training at the Kaemark facility to Kaemark employees in the use of aerial work platforms, general construction carpentry, computer-aided design, electrical troubleshooting, hydraulics and pneumatics, machine maintenance, manufacturing and distribution, business technical math, precision measurement, rigging, tools and equipment, welding, powered industrial truck operation, business computer use, CPR and first aid, lean manufacturing, lockout/tagout, manufacturing safety, general safety, and supervisor/manager skills. Blinn also will provide Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician training.

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar made the announcement at the Kaemark, Inc. facility in Giddings alongside Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College District President/CEO; Kaemark, Inc. CEO Jeff Owen., and Kaemark, Inc. Plant Manager, Roque Pena. The Texas Workforce Commission presented Blinn College and Kaemark, Inc. the grant "check" during a special presentation held Friday, Oct. 14. 

The Giddings Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) initiated the grant request and served as the facilitator and point of contact throughout the year-long application process.  The GEDC's outreach efforts included visits with elected and appointed officials at the Texas Governor's Office of Economic Development in Austin, coordination with the workforce development staff at Blinn College, and on-site assessments with Kaemark's Executive Management Team.   In addition to assisting Kaemark with procuring the SDF grant, the GEDC has also facilitated a partnership between Kaemark and the Texas A & M University's School of Public Health, Institute of Neuroscience, through which the company is collaborating with graduate students in research on ergonomics.

The Skills Development Fund Grant is the first of its kind to be awarded to any company in Lee County and is available to companies with 100+ employees. Other state and local grants are available for businesses with fewer than 100 employees and for micro-enterprises. For more information about grants and other resources that are available to assist your business, contact the Giddings Economic Development Corporation at 979.542.2067 or email at edcdirector@giddings.net.

For more information about the Texas Workforce Commission, click here.

Media Contact: 
Executive Director
Giddings Economic Development Corporation