City approves UTPB grant for job training facilities

As the University of Texas of the Permian Basin faces a 10 percent budget cut, university officials say a city grant totaling $7.5 million over five years for use on job training facilities will be helpful.
The economic development sales tax money can be used for programs “classified for primary jobs,” which include business, accounting, finance, marketing, energy and entrepreneurship programs, among others. The Odessa City Council unanimously ratified approval of the grant Tuesday, after the city’s economic development arm, the Odessa Development Corporation, approved the grant last month.
“The gist of it is that this is good for Odessa and good for the future of our area through job training and that sort of thing through University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and we wanted to show our support through this grant,” said Wes Burnett, the director of economic development for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.
A previous grant that expires this year awarded UTPB about $1 million a year for three years.
To comply with the grant, the university committed to a minimum amount of students who will complete eligible courses each term in each year: 2,209 students each fall, 2,139 students each spring, and 633 each summer.
The university also agreed to provide a kinesiology building with furniture and related facilities for at least $14.2 million and to begin construction in 2018.