Rick Perry’s Reform

College Guide earlier covered some of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s education reform efforts. He’s particularly into accountability, specifically making colleges reveal information about professors to the public.

One of Perry’s earlier projects, however, was an effort to specifically connect education to jobs training through a partnership between a private company and a state university. It didn’t work out so well. According to an article by Matthew Watkins in The Eagle:

When Gov. Rick Perry in 2005 used one of Texas’ largest-ever job creation grants to create a biomedical research center in Brazos County, he promised the $50 million would save lives and bring thousands of high-paying jobs to the state.

But more than six years later, those jobs have not materialized. A biotech firm based in The Woodlands that received 70 percent of the money, Lexicon, has laid off more than half its staff, shed its role in the project and transferred most of its early job creation obligations to its public partner, the Texas A&M University System.

Lexicon and Texas A&M created an institution with the money it received from the Perry administration, the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine, a biomedical research center.

According to the article, the partnership required Lexicon to have 513 new employees by the end of 2011. The company, however, has about 400 fewer employees than it had when it received the grant.

The specific partnership, TIGM, was supposed to result in 5,000 new jobs by 2016.

TIGM now has nine employees.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer