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Texas Workforce Commission awards Blinn, Kaemark $221,699 training grant

Skills Development Fund grant will provide safety and skills training for approximately 100 local workers

October 14, 2016

The Texas Workforce Commission presented Blinn College and Kaemark, Inc. a grant for more than $220,000 during a special presentation held Friday, Oct. 14, to provide safety and skills training for Kaemark’s current and future work force.

Texas Workforce Commission check presentatioin with Dr. Hensley of Blinn CollegeTexas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar made the announcement at the Kaemark, Inc. facility in Giddings alongside Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College District President/CEO; and Kaemark, Inc. CEO Jeff Owen.

The $221,699 grant allows Blinn to provide 5,104 hours of training to Kaemark employees in the use of aerial work platforms, general construction carpentry, computer-aided design, electrical troubleshooting, hydraulics and pneumatics, machine maintenance, manufacturing and distribution, business technical math, precision measurement, rigging, tools and equipment, welding, powered industrial truck operation, business computer use, CPR and first aid, lean manufacturing, lockout/tagout, manufacturing safety, general safety, and supervisor/manager skills. Blinn also will provide Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician training.

Founded in 1972 and based in Giddings, Kaemark ( is a privately-owned, family-centered business. With its focus on exceeding customer expectations, Kaemark has become the largest U.S. manufacturer of beauty salon equipment and piece goods. Its products are available through the nation’s most trusted beauty product distributors and in the nation’s most respected salon and spa chains and beauty schools. In the last five years, Kaemark also has used its resources to branch out into restaurant and commercial build-outs with great success.

The company was founded by Gilbert and Dorothy Krause, descendants of the early German settlers who came to Giddings in the late 1800s. Gilbert Krause established Kaemark’s reputation for durability and caring customer service, and in 2000 he sold Kaemark to Howard Owen, Jeff Owen, and Ben Peterson.

“Kaemark is so proud and thankful to be a part of this prestigious program,” Owen said. “This grant allows us to actively invest in current and future teammates which will not only benefit them and our community, but will have a positive in impact on all of our world-class vendors and clients.”

The Skills Development Fund provides local customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce. In Fiscal Year 2015, TWC funded 49 grants with an average award of $431,935 from the state’s Skills Development Fund. These grants will assist 67 businesses with their training needs and support the creation of 3,664 new jobs.

Blinn has secured $1.6 million in Skills Development Fund grants since August 2014, helping local employers such as Blue Bell, Stanpac, Axis Pipe & Tube, Tempur Sealy, and Igloo develop and implement employee safety and skills training programs.

“Blinn is excited to continue partnering with local businesses to help them identify and obtain the safety and skills training that will empower their employees to reach new heights,” said John O’Neill, Interim Dean for Technical and Community Programs. “The training provided through the Skill Development Fund produces better employees, who in turn make our local businesses even stronger.”

Businesses, consortiums and trade unions with more than 100 employees are encouraged to contact the College at 979-209-7205 to explore partnering with Blinn for Skills Development Fund training opportunities. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees may be eligible for Skills for Small Business grants, and are also encouraged to contact Blinn for more information.

Blinn strengthens the economy by helping job-seekers obtain the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the workplace, and by partnering with local businesses to offer training opportunities for incumbent and new employees. For more information on Blinn’s career and technical education programs, including class schedules and registration information, visit