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South Texas College and nVent host first cohort graduation


Employees from nVent of Reynosa, Mexico were the first to participate in a cross-border workforce development training initiative through South Texas College. Eighteen employees were recognized in a cohort graduation at the STC Technology Campus this week for earning a customized certification in either robotics or English as a Second Language. This is the first of many trainings that nVent and STC’s international partnership will provide.

A new chapter of international partnership was cemented this week at South Texas College. Employees from nVent of Reynosa, Mexico were celebrated at the Technology Campus for being the first cohort of students to complete the college’s new cross-border training initiative.  

STC has officially extended its workforce development services internationally through a unique collaboration with nVent, a global leader in enclosures, electric heat-tracing solutions, complete heat-management systems and electrical and fastening solutions. Eighteen nVent employees from Reynosa traveled to STC on the weekends to earn their customized certifications in either robotics or English as a Second Language. 

“I want to congratulate you; not only on your individual achievement, but the support that you received from nVent, both corporate-wide and locally,” Carlos Margo, Ph.D., dean for Industry Training and Economic Development, said to the new STC graduates.  

Margo said the courses were some of the first of their kind to be offered on this level through the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing. And they were arranged about three months after nVent reached out to the college. 

“We have been working in the international sector for quite some time now,” said Rodney Rodriguez, Ph.D., vice president of Institutional Advancement and Economic Development. “And now that we've opened up these opportunities, the possibilities are endless.” 

Global Market Development Coordinator Luisa Rodriguez said STC leadership has a vision to make the college a number one provider for workforce and economic development both sides of the border. 

“Our goal is to train our region,” Rodriguez said at the event. “Our goal is to support our region, of course, with the help of each one of you. We know that together, we are stronger.” 

Rodney Rodriguez, Ph.D., vice president of Institutional Advancement and Economic Development.

“We have been working in the international sector for quite some time now. And now that we've opened up these opportunities, the possibilities are endless.” 

Rodney Rodriguez, Ph.D., vice president of Institutional Advancement and Economic Development.

From STC staff members who made sure the classes were set up and the curriculum was cutting-edge, to the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officials who made the avenue possible to have the international students come take classes on-site, a team effort was monumental to the success of the trainings, Margo said. 

“Now that we have this collective team of individuals; executive leadership here at the college, and other entities like the MEDC (McAllen Economic Development Corporation) and CBP all coming together, we’re able to offer what we have here at STC on an international level,” Margo continued. 

Margo added that the McAllen EDC played an instrumental part in helping STC begin a cohesive partnership with nVent.  

Ralph Garcia, vice president of International Business Recruitment for the McAllen EDC, said he looks back at the history of the region, and reflects on how it arrived at this point of being able to offer international employees the skills needed to grow and do more in their operations. He credits the overall success to a major factor - partnership.  

“Partnerships like today are extremely important to us,” Garcia said at the graduation. “So, thank you to nVent for believing and giving Arturo (Guevara, operations director of the nVent Reynosa Campus) the opportunity to invest in his people. I think as we continue to grow, the better we are skilled and talented, the better we are as a community.” 

Guevara agreed that the courses were a true international collaboration.  

“A lot of parties made this possible, but especially the employees,” Guevara said. “And we have different modules in the works and will be talking about what is coming up next. We want to continue providing better education, better training, to our employees. And that's our commitment.” 

Diana Garza, Human Resources manager at nVent, was one of the employees who earned a certification in English as a Second Language. 

“In Mexico, the English language is very important to our jobs,” Garza said. “It is necessary to speak in English. So, it was a big opportunity to master the language, and I would like to continue and follow up with more classes.” 

Garza added that, as Mexican citizens, the chance to study English in the United States was exciting to the group, but also complicated due to the early weekend traveling required between their country and the STC campus. But, the support and encouragement she felt from her company and the school to improve her professional life made the experience worthwhile. 

“They helped me to be better in my job, in my company.” Garza said. “The principal objective is to now help others through my experience.” 

Jesse Sanchez, vice president of Enclosures at nVent attended the graduation and thanked the employees for sacrificing their personal time with their families to continue their education. He also recognized Guevara for “thinking about his team and what the next generation is going to look like, and how to really invest in our team.” After this group’s success at STC, Sanchez encouraged the graduates to spread the word about the certifications amongst their coworkers. 

“Thank you for investing and learning and thinking about the culture we want to create here at nVent,” Sanchez said to the employees. “So, go back and be leaders. Go back and share the good that you learned. And then, go back and tell your colleagues, ‘Please raise your hand for the next class.’”