BETTY DILLARD, Fort Worth Business

 

The Texas Workforce Commission named Klein Tools Inc. of Mansfield and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Fort Worth as finalists for the 2016 Texas Workforce Solutions Small Employer of the Year Award and Large Employer of the Year Award, respectively.

The two Tarrant County employers are among six finalists chosen from among 44 private-sector employers nominated by local workforce partners for their contributions to the Texas workforce through innovation and collaboration with their local Workforce Solutions board and their local community.

This year marks the first time TWC will recognize two employers with the distinction between large and small employers of the year.

Lockheed Martin, which employs more than 14,100 people, is recognized for contributing billions of dollars annually to the Fort Worth-Dallas economy and promoting aerospace and aviation careers in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County and local educational institutions.

The company granted $1 million to the Fort Worth Independent School District to implement Project Lead the Way STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program, and encourages interest in engineering careers through internship opportunities and an employee volunteer program.

Klein Tools, a global hand tool manufacturer, began operating in Mansfield in 2010 and has almost 400 employees. That number is expected to increase to 600 by 2018. Klein works with Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County to recruit and hire candidates. Klein is a member of the Mansfield Manufacturing Partnership with Workforce Solutions, Mansfield Economic Development Corp. and Mansfield Independent School District. The company recently expanded its Skills Development Fund grant with Tarrant County College, and trained 130 new workers for manufacturing jobs.

The 2016 Small and Large Employer of the Year winners will be announced at the 20th annual Texas Workforce Conference Employer Award luncheon on Dec. 8 in Houston.