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Ysleta ISD awarded more than $490K for career program

Ysleta ISD has been awarded more than $490,000 to enhance the biomedical engineering and bioengineering program at Del Valle High School, thanks to a new Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant recently announced by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

The TWC recently awarded more than $54 million to 152 community/state/technical colleges, charter schools, and public school districts across Texas to help establish or expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs where students can earn a license, certificate, or postsecondary degree in fields that include nursing, welding, automotive repair, and dentistry.

At Ysleta ISD, the money will be used to purchase and install equipment and provide professional development for Del Valle High School’s biomedical engineering and bioengineering program, including a 3D medical printer that helps students visualize body components and how to design biotechnical/bioengineering applications in concrete forms.

The 3D printer also has the ability to create and work with 21st-century devices that should not only inspire students to consider career opportunities in biomedical, biotechnological, and/or bioresearch fields, but place them on the cutting-edge of field development and align with Integrated Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) standards.

“It’s important to identify high-demand jobs, but it’s critical to proactively commit resources to ensure Texans are ready to meet those workforce needs,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “JET grants represent an important investment by TWC to provide training opportunities for the high demand jobs of both the present and future.”

Hugo Martinez, director of Ysleta ISD’s Career Programs, said Del Valle High School’s biomedical engineering and bioengineering program currently includes freshmen and sophomores – but by the time they are seniors, these students will have the opportunity to intern in biomedicine through the University of Texas at El Paso.

This is the second JET grant awarded to Ysleta ISD’s CTE Department, which applied for the grants in conjunction with the district’s Office of Competitive Grants. In total, Ysleta ISD will receive $490,808 in this round of funding, and is the only El Paso entity to receive these JET grant funds in recent years.

“Texas continues to cultivate a highly skilled, diverse workforce through major investments in career and technical education training programs for our students,” said Gov. Greg Abbott.  “Texas is the land of economic opportunity, and I thank the Texas Workforce Commission for their ongoing efforts to ensure that our students can grow and thrive in our state's booming economy.”