Austin, TX (STL.News) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott yesterday announced more than $5.2 million in Texas Talent Connection grants to 15 innovative workforce skills training and job placement programs across the state. These competitive grant awards, administered by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism division, support innovative education and workforce skills training programs that lead to successful job placement, increased wages, and improved job retention, as well as programs serving workforce populations with special needs.
“Texas continues to lead the nation in job creation because of our growing and skilled workforce,” said Governor Abbott. “When we asked Texas employers what the most important factor is for future job growth and business expansion, the top answer is a continuing pipeline of skilled workers. With the more than $5.2 million in Texas Talent Connection grants, we are connecting more employers to work-ready skilled Texans and more Texans to in-demand skills training for higher-paying jobs and career advancement.”
The $5,204,385 in Texas Talent Connection grant awards announced today include:
- Alvin Community College in Brazoria County is awarded $394,004 for the Alvin Community College Student Success Initiative serving Brazoria County with integrated reading, writing, and math curricula to model workplace applications for postsecondary youth and adults, as well as mentoring, academic counseling, and career coaching.
- American Youthworks in Travis County is awarded $255,924 for the New Start Pre-Release Occupational Training program serving Travis County. This vocational program serves incarcerated youth ages 16-24 who reside at the Travis County Correctional Complex by providing construction industry certification training and re-entry services upon release.
- Central Texas College in Bell County is awarded $113,297 for the Educational Accelerated Gateway to Leadership and Employability Summer Camp serving graduating high school seniors in Bell County. Graduates participate in a full college experience while receiving training and certifications in high-demand career and technical fields.
- Collin County Community College in Denton County is awarded $158,664 for the Water Works Initiative, which addresses the shortage of talent in the water and wastewater treatment industry. The program serves credit and continuing education students in Denton, Rockwall, Hunt, and Kaufman counties by providing training and internship opportunities in water distribution, water treatment, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide is awarded $500,000 for the Accelerated Skills Training Initiative for Aviation and Aerospace serving Bexar and Comal counties. This program engages underserved young adults ages 18-24, incumbent workers, and veterans in accelerated skills training in the advanced manufacturing, aviation, aerospace, and information technology fields.
- Goodwill Industries of Central Texas in Travis County is awarded $292,261 for the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy serving individuals with barriers to employment in Travis County by training participants to become Microsoft Certified Solutions Associates.
- Houston Capital Investing in Harris County is awarded $300,000 for the Capital IDEA and Career My Way program serving Harris and Fort Bend counties. This program serves unemployed and underemployed young adults ages 18-24 by providing a multi-pronged workforce strategy that includes tracks to postsecondary education, apprenticeship or industry training, or rapid employment.
- Mission Economic Development Corporation in Hidalgo County is awarded $490,268 for the Cyber Mission program serving Hidalgo County. This program partners with CompTIA to provide high-quality information technology, cyber-security career training, and job placement support services throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
- Skill Point Alliance in Travis County is awarded $250,000 for the Filling the Skill Gap: Rapid Skill Building in Advanced Manufacturing program serving Travis, Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, and Williamson counties. This program model uses an evidence-based framework focused on rapid skill-building and placement for participants who are low-income and unemployed or underemployed.
- Texas Southmost College in Cameron County is awarded $489,652 for the Texas Shared Prosperity Initiative. This program serves young adults in the Cameron County Pre-Trial Education Diversion Program who are first-time, non-violent offenders, by providing training, certification, and employment in the construction and marine industry as insulators and marine shipfitters.
- Texas Tech University in Lubbock County is awarded $482,415 for the Cyber-Physical Security Training for the energy and water industry program serving Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motely, Terry, and Yoakum counties. This program will develop and provide focused training tied to occupational skill acquisition, job placement, and career enhancement in the utilities and energy industries for enrolled students and those already in the workforce.
- The Arc of the Capital Area in Travis County is awarded $227,900 for the Supported Employment Program, which helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Travis and Williamson counties connect to job opportunities, navigate common barriers to employment, and participate in specialized on-the-job training.
- Volunteers of America in Harris County is awarded $500,000 for the Bridges to Career Opportunities program serving Houston and the surrounding Harris County area. This program provides a workforce pipeline for low-income and unemployed or underemployed participants by addressing workforce shortages in high-growth, high-wage industries.
- Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County is awarded $500,000 for project BEST (Bringing Ex-Offenders Solutions Texas), which is designed to reintegrate ex-offenders back into the community and provide skills training leading to employment. Priority for placement in the program is given to re-entering military veterans.
- Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas is awarded $250,000 for the Pursuit of Advanced Training in High Demand Skills (PATHS) project serving all counties encompassing the Coastal Bend Valley, Concho Valley, Gulf Coast, North Texas, Rural Capital, and West Central local workforce development areas. The program will establish a Texas Gateway portal for online services, training, and upskilling in retail and other sectors.
The Texas Workforce Investment Council assists the Governor and the Legislature with strategic planning for and evaluation of the Texas workforce system to promote the development of a well-educated, highly skilled workforce for Texas. The Council members represent workforce system partners and stakeholders, including business and industry, organized labor, education, and community-based organizations, as well as the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The more than $5.2 million in Texas Talent Connection grants awarded this year by Governor Abbott are Wagner-Peyser 7(b) grant funds allocated to the Governor’s Office by the U.S. Department of Labor to encourage innovation in workforce training and job placement services.