Dr. Ben Stafford

Vice President for Workforce & Continuing Education, Lamar State College Port Arthur

Ben Stafford was born in Port Arthur Texas to Pat and Jack Stafford. As one of five sons in a working-class family of American Indian descent, his parents emphasized the critical importance of education.

Ben started classes at Lamar Institute of Technology in the summer of 1977. He completed an Associate of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1981, a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Lamar University in 1985, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Houston’s Graduate School of Social Work in 1987. He enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program at the University of Texas and completed the course work to earn a second master’s degree, this time with a heavy focus on health-related statistics. He petitioned the Doctoral Program and was accepted in 1988, completing the Doctorate in Public Health Administration in 1996.

While still in college, Dr. Stafford served as the Director of Emergency Services at DePelchin Children’s Center in Houston Texas. Here he designed and opened the area’s first emergency shelter offering services to babies born to chemically dependent mothers. Returning to Beaumont he served as the Director of Day Treatment for the Beaumont Neurological Hospital and then as the Administrator for the Baptist Center for Behavioral Medicine. Following a motorcycle accident in 1995, he spent more than a year recovering from major injuries to his back and neck. Dr. Stafford returned to work late in 1997 as the Regional Director for Texas for ContinueCare Corporation, offering a variety health care management services to physician’s offices, medical clinics and community mental health centers. He moved within the same company to become the Vice President of Operation with authority over operations in Texas, Florida and Arizona.

As old injuries began to make constant travel a burden, Ben joined Lamar State College Port Arthur in 2010. Since joining the College, he has served as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, the Department Chair for Allied Health, the Dean of Technical Programs and now serves as the Vice President for Workforce & Continuing Education. As Vice President, he works intensively in grant writing and has a strong focus on grants for the development of workforce in rural Texas. Dr. Stafford has been awarded more than $17,000,000 in State and Federal grants since 2015.


Rural Funders Peer Network: Workforce Development in Rural Communities

Posted on November 28, 2022 by Katie Hughes, Gretchen Schmidt, PhD, Dr. Ben Stafford, Erin Borla, Wynn Rosser

In rural communities, where populations are more dispersed and farther from major job centers, labor markets face different challenges than those in urban areas. Currently labor shortages in healthcare and education are particularly acute in rural areas. But investment in workforce development tailored to rural communities can significantly improve this situation. Join us for a conversation to learn about best… Read More