Becon Construction Co., Inc., an affiliate of Bechtel, has been awarded a
quarter-million dollar state grant to develop skills and job training
for southeast Texans in partnership with Lamar State College-Port
The $249,955 grant came from the Texas Workforce Commission's Skills
Development Fund, which assists Texas employers with their customized
The grant will fund classroom and hands-on training for 240 people in
general craft construction skills. Becon will provide and/or certify
instructors. Qualified graduates will receive jobs with Becon at the
recently announced Motiva refinery expansion project, the largest of
its kind in the United States.
Demand for skilled craft workers is great in the Gulf Coast,
especially in Port Arthur, where the Motiva project has just received
a notice to proceed. Becon is a principle construction contractor on
the project, and will officially open its Employment and Community
Center in Port Arthur Oct. 1.
Prior to receiving this grant, the state college trained 82 local
residents, two dozen of whom have been employed on various Bechtel
projects in the region, said Bob Deatherage, Becon's manager of
industrial relations. He credits collaboration with the Texas
Workforce Commission, LSC-PA, Motiva, the City of Port Arthur,
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Regional Workforce
Alliance for this early success.
"Here in the Golden Triangle [of southeast Texas], we are blessed
with a boom in construction," Deatherage said. "But construction
employment growth will be curtailed unless we can develop local
workforce skills. There are many other owners and contractors across
the nation watching our area to see how we do it."
To enroll in the training, contact the Texas Workforce Commission's
Port Arthur office at 409.962.1236 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.
Based in San Francisco, Bechtel is one of the world's premier
engineering, construction, and project management companies. Since its
founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 22,000 projects in
140 countries on all seven continents. Today its 40,000 employees
are teamed with customers, partners, and suppliers on hundreds of
projects in nearly 50 countries.