The Texoma Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, composed of the 30 area industry and education representatives, was named as a recipient of the 2017 Workforce Excellence Award on Thursday.

The award, which is handed out by the Texas Economic Development Council, is bestowed on communities or regions of the state which have successfully implemented workforce initiatives. The TEDC reviewed 20 different applicants for this year’s awards and assessed each on five categories, including innovation, benefits and community commitment. The Texoma Consortium won in the “Regional” category with a population of up to 500,000 residents.

“TEDC’s Workforce Excellence Award is one of the ways in which our organization honors the outstanding work done by our communities and regions, their leaders, and their economic development professionals in the area of workforce development,” TEDC President and CEO Carlton Schwab said in a joint press release issued with Workforce Solutions Texoma.

The release pointed to the design and implementation of the consortium’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician Career Pathway as one of the body’s most recent and notable successes. The program provides area students with the option to enroll in the Manufacturing Technology Program or the Industrial Maintenance Program and is funded by the Denison Development Alliance, the Sherman Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Solutions Texoma and others. Both programs are free to students and feature a duel-credit curriculum that is taught through Grayson College and provides participants with on-the-job training, experience and necessary certifications sought by employers.

Consortium Chair and Emerson Process Management Plant Manager Mark Anderson said the programs will set industrial employers up well for future operations and growth as they are poised to release knowledgeable and skilled employees into a rapidly-aging workforce.

“The training being conducted through this program is an excellent resource that will provide local industries the talent pipeline required to meet the challenges of replacing retirees from the baby boomer generation and the ability grow businesses moving forward,” Anderson said.