LULAC National Educational Service Centers receives Wagner-Peyser grant.

Funds will be used for the implementation of the Texas Science Corps Programs.

For more information contact:
Octavio A. Dominguez, (202) 835-9646 ext. 15
Lizette Jenness Olmos, 202-833-6130 ext. 16

San Antonio – LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) will be making an announcement Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country leading to the start of the LULAC National Women’s Conference on Friday that it has been awarded a $490,000 Wagner-Peyser grant by Governor Rick Perry's office. The grants are given annually to various organizations to provide workforce training programs and are administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. This grant will support 5 program sites in Texas: Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio.

“As the educational arm of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest Latino membership organization, LNESC is well positioned to serve the educational needs of its target communities," said Rosa Rosales, LULAC National President. “We want to thank Governor Perry and the community for the continued support and confidence in LNESC,” President Rosales stated.

This marks the second year LNESC has been the beneficiary of a Wagner-Peyser grant. During 2006-2007, LNESC implemented the Career Prep Program, providing low-income in-school and dropout Texas youth with pre-employment information and training required for college enrollment and meaningful and productive work in the modern labor market.

“It is critical to give students a practical education experience,” said Roman Palomares, LNESC Chairman. “By tying the program experience directly to job skill development, participants are given the information and training necessary to opt-into the college planning and preparation process.”

Based on input and evaluation from that program, the program has been expanded to include a major science and engineering component. Renamed the Texas Science Corps Program, the goal of the program is to provide youth with science instruction and exposure to careers in science, technology, and engineering utilizing a curriculum previously developed for LNESC by the Education Development Center and sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund. A total of 1000 youth participants will receive science instruction; science, technology, and engineering career exploration activities; postsecondary and financial aid information; and pre-employment training to develop job and interpersonal skills to secure part-time employment; and gain insight into the connection between education, jobs, and careers.

In announcing the grant award, LULAC Texas State Director and LNESC Board Member Roger Rocha noted, “This marks a year long assessment of the original program. For the past year we have been working with the Governor’s Office on finding ways to increase its impact and I think the addition of the summer camps does that. It provides youth with the opportunity to explore science and engineering careers before attending college.” The four week long summer science camp will allow participants to learn from science professionals engaged in research or applied science at universities, hospitals, laboratories, or other public and private agencies. Students will also have the opportunity to visit colleges and work sites involving careers in science, technology, and engineering and receive mentoring services from graduate and undergraduate students majoring in science and engineering.

“It remains our mission to train all students to be life-long learners," said Palomares. “This program will do that by preparing them for college and future high paying careers in the workforce.”

Since 1973, LNESC has focused on creating a menu of developmentally appropriate educational initiatives. These model programs are designed to help the organization reach its mission of providing the highest quality educational programs needed to help members of the Hispanic community become life-long learners and leaders. Through these efforts, LNESC has contributed to the academic success of 400,000 promising Hispanic and disadvantaged students and has provided over 13 million dollars to nearly 25,000 students.

More information about LNESC and its programs can be found at www.LNESC.org.

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