BORGER, Texas (KVII) — The Borger Economic Development Corporation announced on Tuesday a new partnership between the EDC and Frank Phillips College aimed at filling voids in high demand professions. A $90,000 grant was secured by Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (PRPC) and Workforce Solutions Panhandle to help train licensed vocational nurses to work at High Plains Community Hospital and refinery operators to work at Phillips 66.
“What were the highest demand programs that were going to return the greatest return on our investment back to the community?” said Katie Lingor, Borger EDC executive director. Lingor answers that question by investing in local job training for up to 40 licensed vocational nurses and 12 refinery operators.
“If we can train people locally for those high demand jobs then were able to help secure the future not just at the workforce in our community but also the larger employers that demand on that labor pool,” said Lingor.
Currently there is a need for LVN’s and registered nurses not just at the Golden Plain Community Hospital but throughout Borger.
“This can fill a void not only at the hospital but at our Home Health agencies and our nursing homes throughout the community,” said Don Bates, CEO of Golden Plains Community Hospital. “This will also fill a void at doctor’s offices in Borger.”
Frank Phillips College is facilitating the training. Phillips 66 is Borger’s largest employer with an estimated 1,000 people employed there. The refinery needs operators who have their process technology certification.
“We have converted the I&E and the P&E Dual Credit programs to the process technology programs,” said Taryn Fraley, Dean of Career & Technical Education at FPC. “This is being done in order to fast track the students onto that.”
“Entry when you come on at Phillips 66 in Borger with the certification is around $25.00 an hour and currently top pay is around $45.00 an hour,” said Ellen Fulton, Phillips 66 Human Resources manager. “That’s without overtime so it’s around $90,000 or $96,000 a year.
Lingor tells ABC 7 News the Borger EDC aims to increase the number of trained employees to work at the refinery up to 25 to 30 per year, within two or three years.
The $90,000 matching grant brings the total number of funds available to $180,000 for local job workforce training.