Check for safety: Texas Mutual awards $100,000 to KC Risk Management

TAMEKA BULLARD
Staff Writer 

KC Risk Management Institute accepted a $100,000 grant from Texas Mutual Insurance Company Monday. This is the sixth year the program has received funding from Texas Mutual to continue the safety courses KC provides.

Texas Mutual Insurance is the state’s leading provider in workers’ compensation insurance created by the Texas Legislature in 1991 to provide affordable coverage for the state’s employees.

Since 1999 Texas Mutual has given $3.1 million to three community colleges: KC, Midland College and College of the Mainland located in Texas City. The funding allows KC to further educate students on ways to prevent-work related accidents.

“The funding is significant and allows us to provide free safety training on topics pertinent to the needs of our areas businesses and industries,” said Dr. Gerald Stanglin, vice president of instruction and chief academic officer.

KC began the Risk Management Institute in January 2008 and since then the Workforce Development Department has offered hundreds of safety classes focusing especially on OSHA’s 10 and 30-hour general industry and construction cards needed by businesses for East Texas employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to help employers and employees reduce job-related injuries, illnesses and deaths through national compliance initiatives in safety and health.

Kilgore has served more than 700 companies from 76 Texas counties. More than 250 work place safety classes have been taught with more than 3,000 attendees, 900 receiving OSHA certifications.

“One thing that really stands out is the collaborative effort of this college and the broad support,” said Jo Betsy Norton, vice president of public affairs for Texas Mutual insurance.

Members of Texas Mutual as well as KC staff make it possible to ensure the ongoing success of the Risk Management Institute.

“We have people all over this campus who have stood behind us to help us get this program off the ground,” said Martha Woodruff, director, workforce development and continuing education. During the presentation Woodruff recognized some of the KC staff involved in the program, including coordinators, administration and instructors.

“If it hadn’t been for the kindness, the camaraderie, the teamwork of the KC family, I’m not sure how well we would have done,” Woodruff said.

Norton emphasized Texas Mutual’s dedication to help prevent accidents and injuries in the work place.

“We found that investing in work place safety is just a sound investment for us,” Norton said.

Trinity Rail is the nation’s largest railcar manufacture and leading builder of inland barges, highway guardrails and metal components. Trinity Rail has five locations including a plant in Longview which has participated in the KC Risk Management Institute. Among the 1,800 local employees there are 15 safety personnel who have attended one or more of KC’s safety classes.

“With the help of Kilgore it’s been relatively easy to register for these classes and the financial benefit has been great,” said Randy George, manager of environment health and safety Trinity Rail Longview. The Risk Management Institute provides information to students, covering a wide range of topics and has increased the knowledge base  of  Trinity Rail safety personnel.

“I like the fact that there’s a not limit to the classes you can take and there’s no limit to the people I can send,” George said.

Dr. Charles Whiteside, founder and president of Ana-Lab Corporation, was instrumental in bringing risk management to KC.

“I believe this is the cooperation between two of the finest institutions I have ever had any business with,” Whiteside said. “I love Kilgore College and I love Texas Mutual Insurance.”

Spring 2013 safety classes schedule and registration form have been posted to www.kilgore.edu/risk_management.asp.

For more information, call Eva McClellan, training and development coordinator, at 903-988-7426.

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