Gov. Greg Abbott on July 6 announced more than $5.5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants to 18 innovative workforce skills training and job placement programs in communities 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.
“The Texas economy is booming – jobs and businesses are growing here, and while other states are losing population, we are gaining,” said Abbott. “All of that economic momentum is proof that the Texas Model works. Meeting the changing needs of job creators and providing a continuing pipeline of skilled workers is paramount to ensure Texas remains the top state for business expansion. With the more than $5.5 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 — creating a more prosperous Texas for all.”
The $5,591,012 in Texas Talent Connection grant awards announced today include:
In North Texas:
- The Tarrant County Workforce Development Board: $326,405 for the 21st Century – Customers Embracing New Technology Upon Release program serving reentering citizens with technology-based training focused on digital literacy to aid in job search, job placement, and financial management.
- NPower: $350,000 for the Tech Fundamentals program serving unemployed and underemployed veterans, veteran spouses, and reservists in Dallas, Tarrant, Wise, Denton, Collin, Kaufman, Ellis, Hunt, Smith, Grayson, Rockwell, and Johnson counties by providing tuition free job training, credentialing, and job placement in industry-relevant digital careers.
- North Central Texas College: $349,972 for the Business and Industry Leadership Team to Supply Chain and Logistics Education (BILT to SCALE) program serving North Central Texas College students in Denton, Cooke, Montague, and Young counties by providing fast-track, accelerated training in supply chain logistics.
Other areas of Texas:
- Alvin Community College in Harris County: $346,659 for the New Beginnings re-entry program serving Brazoria County by providing recently released offenders with job placement assistance and workforce training to reduce recidivism.
- American YouthWorks in Travis County: $243,414 for the YouthBuild Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship program serving unemployed or underemployed opportunity youth ages 16-24 in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties by providing secondary education, job skills, and job placement through paid training and certifications in manufacturing.
- The Bay Area Houston Advanced Technology Consortium: $324,029 for the Aerospace/Space/Aviation Technician Readiness Program serving Harris, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties by providing unemployed high school graduates, displaced workers, and other unemployed participants with job training and job placement as certified electrical and composite technicians in the aerospace, space, and aviation industries.
- Community Learning Centers, Inc.: $300,000 for the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC-R) program serving veterans, unemployed, underemployed, and those with low-income, low-skill backgrounds in Johnson, Parker, and Tarrant counties by providing job training and job placement in entry-level residential HVAC-R mechanic and technician positions in the construction industry.
- Front Steps, Inc.: $350,000 for the Front Steps Resources for Employment and Education (FREE) program serving homeless veterans as well as other homeless in Travis County by providing job readiness and job placement services as well as temporary shelter to ensure stability in employment and housing.
- Goodwill Industries of Central Texas: $114,539 for the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy program serving individuals with barriers to employment in Travis County by providing industry-recognized Python training and certification in entry-level computer programming and software development as well as job search and job placement services.
- Houston’s Capital IDEA in Harris County: $300,000 for year two of the Capital IDEA and Career My Way program serving unemployed or underemployed low-income adults ages 18-24 in Harris and Fort Bend counties by providing community college education or short-term vocational training in the healthcare, energy, or professional trades industries.
- Project ARRIBA: $350,000 for the Equitable Opportunities Through Post-Secondary Access program serving low-income, unemployed, or underemployed adults in El Paso County by providing post-secondary education, job training, certification, and job placement in the healthcare industry.
- Skillpoint Alliance in Travis County: $250,000 for year two of the Filling the Skill Gap: Expanding Rapid Skill Building in Advanced Manufacturing program serving low-income and unemployed or underemployed in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties by using an evidence-based framework focused on rapid skill-building and placement.
- Texas A&M University – San Antonio: $255,000 for the Texas Two-step for Increasing Women in Technology program serving women in Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, McMullen, Medina, and Wilson counties by providing workforce training and job placement in computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity.
- Texas Southmost College in Cameron County: $350,000 for year two of the Texas Shared Prosperity Initiative serving 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: $349,959 for year two of the Critical Infrastructure Security Training for Industry Professionals program serving Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motely, Terry, and Yoakum counties by providing focused training tied to occupational skill acquisition, job placement, and career enhancement in the utilities and energy industries for enrolled students and those already employed.
- The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA): $350,000 for the Rio Grande Valley Industry Specialized Training and Workforce Innovation program serving residents in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties who are 18 years or older, unemployed, or living under the federal poverty guidelines by providing training and certifications for allied health, aerospace, and liquid natural gas industry entry-level positions.
- Volunteers of America in Harris County: $350,000 for year two of the Bridges to Career Opportunities program serving Houston and the Harris County area by providing a workforce pipeline for low-income and unemployed or underemployed participants in high-growth, high-wage industries.
- Workforce Solutions of Southeast Texas: $331,035 for the Southeast Texas (SETX) Internship and Externship Training Initiative serving Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties by providing opportunity youth ages 18-24 with eight-week, paid internships in their field of study.
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 $5.5 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.