Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association and Garland Chamber of Commerce


Richland College Garland Campus


Ongoing technical and business training for 62 manufacturing companies

Goal and Target Population

To provide resources, workforce training and job placement services for manufacturing companies in the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association who are members of the Garland Chamber of Commerce. Garland is one of the largest manufacturing cities in the state, with more than 375 industry-specific companies.


Richland College began working with the Garland Chamber of Commerce on specific training issues for area employers in 2005 and has worked with the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association (DCMA) since it was established in 2006. Richland’s Garland Campus opened in 2009 to offer highly specialized corporate and workforce training to the city of Garland’s manufacturing corridor.


Funding is provided by Skills Development Fund (SDF) grants awarded to Richland College by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Richland has received training grants totaling more than $2,500,000 for DCMA companies to date. In August 2014, the TWC awarded Richland College an SDF grant for an additional $629,602 to train 334 employees at DCMA member companies Ecolab, General Dynamics, J&A Manufacturing, Karlee, Kraft Foods, Marlow Industries and Micropac Industries, Inc.


Richland College has provided training for more than 2,000 employees in 25 DCMA member companies. Topics have included management, industrial maintenance, Lean Six Sigma, manufacturing, business productivity, Microsoft Office applications, language skills and safety. Certificate programs were also created for precision machine operator, construction-masonry and office support specialist.

Challenges and Solutions

TWC policy specified that companies weren’t eligible to participate in subsequent grants for 12 months once their SDF grant concluded — restricting the college’s ability to meet rapidly changing needs for high-tech manufacturing companies. After meeting with colleges and companies about their concerns, the TWC changed its restriction to six months.

TWC policy decreed a training mix for SDF grants to be at least 55% business technical, 45% general technical and no more than 10% nontechnical training. To address this challenge, Richland partnered with Senseability Technical Training LLC to provide a wide array of industrial maintenance training to its DCMA companies. Richland’s 2014-2015 SDF grant comprised 67% business technical, 32% general technical and 1% nontechnical training. 


With the TWC excluding soft skills from grant training, Richland’s Corporate Services Division has greatly increased its offerings in this area with DCMA company partners to fill the gap in developing leadership and supervisory skills with their organizations. The college is now on its third round of DCMA Leadership Academy classes with the Garland Chamber of Commerce.

A Micropac employee creates new computer chips

Strategies for Success

Richland College’s liaison maintains regular contact with DCMA companies through scheduled committee meetings and on-site visits to discuss training and hiring needs. Seats on the Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas board of directors enable partners to have a voice at the local level. Representatives also maintain advocacy with the Texas Workforce Commission, which administers the grants.


The primary outcome has been the successful training and maintenance of a highly skilled, stable workforce in the Garland manufacturing corridor. DCMA member companies have noted sustained quality improvement, higher production accuracy and efficiency, cross-training of employees, incident and injury reduction, and increased employee morale.

Lessons Learned

Listening to and developing trust with business partners is crucial. Understanding their businesses and what is required for them to be successful makes Richland College and DCCCD players in finding solutions to workforce training and hiring challenges.  

What Our Partners Say

Paul Mayer
Paul Mayer
CEO, Garland Chamber of Commerce and Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association
“ Larry Anderson, a highly respected leader in the U.S. on continuous improvement, summed up the partnership between (DCCCD) and the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association as a ‘best practice.’ There is no higher designation than being a model of performing at the highest level. The Garland Chamber formed the DCMA in partnership with the DCCCD almost 10 years ago. The millions of dollars of grant funds and the hundreds of workers trained in that time are a testament to the success of the relationship. The economy of Garland, Texas, has benefitted immensely from this unique collaboration. ”
Mark King
Mark King
CEO, Micropac Industries Inc.
“ Micropac has received many benefits as a DCMA member company. We received training through a Richland College/DCMA grant for broad-level skills development across our company. A couple of years ago, we experienced a downturn in one of our divisions, while we had a significant increase in our sister division. As a direct result of the skills training, we avoided layoffs by transferring employees across divisions who fortunately had the skills training needed. ”

Where the Jobs Are

Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas lists projected job openings and salaries in its 2014-2015 Targeted Occupations list:

Job title Dallas employment in 2014-2015 Dallas mean wage per hour
Composite bonding assembler 8,350 $14.86
CNC machine operator 850 $14.93
​Machinist ​2,870 ​$17.71
​Quality control technician ​5,090 ​$17.09
​Engineering tech drafter ​740 ​$26.11
​Electronic technician ​3,620 ​$25.40

For More Information

Richland College Garland Campus