Breckenridge Texan

R. E. Dye receives grant for employee training
October 02
19:31 2017

On Wednesday, one of Breckenridge’s oldest family-owned businesses was presented with a grant to help boost their employee’s skills and keep them competitive on the world market.

R.E. Dye Manufacturing was presented with a check for $97,568 from the Texas Workforce Solutions and the Texas Workforce Commission’s Skills Development fund at the TSTC Technology Center in Breckenridge. In addition to the grant, the Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation also contributed $13,517 to the project. The Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas is part of the statewide Texas Workforce Solutions network, which is a part of the Texas Workforce Commission.

Grants from the fund are provided to Texas businesses like R. E. Dye to provide training for their employees to help them obtain or retain certifications they need, or increase their skill sets to make them competitive on the world market.

“That is really the essence of the Skills Development fund,” said Dale Robertson, manager of Office of Employer Initiatives with the TWC in Austin. He was in Breckenridge to present the check. “These are your dollars coming back to work in this community. We’re just here to help facilitate that process as much as possible.”

Virgil Moore, executive director of the Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation, said R.E. Dye is a family-owned-and-operated business that has been a vital employer for the community since 1919. He said although the company was already doing an outstanding job as a leader in the machining industry, the grant would allow their employees to learn some new tricks.

“Today we have proof that you can teach old dog new tricks,” Moore said.

R.E. Dye has been in business in Breckenridge since 1919. The company was established 98 years ago to serve the automotive and welding needs in Breckenridge. Then, in World War II, they changed to military and aerospace production. After the war, they continue to produce aerospace parts and assemblies for companies like Bell Helicopter, Lockheed, and General Dynamics. They also continue to serve oil field companies in the area.

In 1959 R.E. Dye’s nephew Jimmy Dye, a Breckenridge High School graduate, started to work at the company after earning a mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M University. He then purchased the company in 1993 and operates the business with his sons Coby and Steve Dye.

Today, R. E. Dye specializes in high-precision, life-critical machine components and assemblies for the military aerospace industry, specifically helicopters, and for the oil field sectors. According to Coby Dye, president of the company, about 97 percent or more of their business today is aircraft work. They currently have 51 full-time, and seven part-time employees.

“Grants like this help corporations like R. E. Dye keep up with the rapid changes and requirements in the world market today, and keep the workforce and corporations in Stephens County in those markets, and competitive in those markets,” Coby Dye said when he thanked the group for their assistance in obtaining the grants and training.

He said the training provided by the grant allowed his employees to update their AS 9100 aircraft certifications. He said without the certifications, they can’t do aircraft work. He also said the grant had a component that allowed their machinists to learn new skills and improve skills that they already had.

The training for R. E. Dye’s employees under the grant is being coordinated by TSTC. Rick Denbow, associated provost, said at first R. E. Dye wanted to improve their efficiency in setting up their machines and their equipment and reduce their amount of downtime. He said they brought in one of their instructors from the Hutto campus outside of Austin to provide that training in August.

In September, he said, they started the ISO 9000 and AS 9100 updates for R. E. Dye and will finish up in early October. He said the updates allow them to expand their customer base and go out and actually be able to work with some more aircraft manufacturers, both civilian and military, to produce precision equipment and parts for that industry. For that training, he said, they partnered with the West Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center.

“TSTC very excited about this,” Denbow said about the workforce training. “In the last two years, we really have focused on that.  We’ve got a division that’s here in West Texas, actually across the state of Texas, but we have several individuals here in West Texas that focus on workforce training. We find it very important.”

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Dale Robertson, left, manager of Office of Employer Initiatives with the TWC in Austin, presents a check  for $97,568 grant from the Texas Workforce Solutions to Coby Dye, president of R.E. Dye Manufacturing. The grant will be used to train R.E. Dye employees increasing their skills sets and updating their aircraft manufacturing certification. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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