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Posted on: July 3, 2018

Governor Abbott announces $5M in grants for workforce training programs across Texas

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Governor Greg Abbott today announced $5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants to 13 workforce training and job placement programs across the state. This second round of 2018 Texas Talent Connection competitive grant awards, administered by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism division, supports education and workforce 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 leads the nation in private-sector job creation because of our highly 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 continued access to a skilled and flexible workforce. With the $5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants announced today, we are connecting more Texans to in-demand skills training and connecting more employers to work-ready skilled Texans, so they can grow even more good-paying jobs in the Lone Star State.”


The $500,000 in first-round Texas Talent Connection grants were awarded in April to six local workforce boards from across the state and specifically supported middle-skill STEM internship programs.


The $5 million in second-round Texas Talent Connection grant awards announced today include:

  • $500,000 to the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board in Tom Green County for the 2018 Concho Valley Workforce Internship and Work Ready Community project, a community-based effort to certify workers in foundational workplace skills needed for high-demand, middle-skill STEM occupational jobs;
  • $500,000 to Kilgore College in Gregg County for the East Texas Workforce Partnership project, a collaboration with Workforce Solutions East Texas centers to provide skills-upgrade training for dislocated oil and gas workers though innovative, short-term, go-to-work training programs;
  • $500,000 to the Tarrant County Workforce Development Board for project BEST (Bringing Ex-Offenders Solutions Texas) designed to reintegrate ex-offenders back into the community and provide skills training leading to employment, with priority for placement in the program given to re-entering military veterans;
  • $499,990 to the University of Houston-Downtown in Harris County for the UHD STEM Training Center for Underrepresented Workforce Career Ready project, a partnership with Houston ISD, Harmony Charter Schools, Alief ISD schools and the Gulf Coast Workforce Board-Houston, providing STEM education and training;
  • $450,677 to Bay Area Houston Advanced Technology Consortium in Harris County for the Fiber Optics Training for Military Veterans project facilitating veteran’s transition into the civilian workforce through job readiness, training and placement;
  • $450,000 to CARE – The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland in Bexar County for the SPIRIT Project – Job Readiness for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, with the goal of developing the untapped labor force in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities community to meet workforce needs;
  • $398,758 to Alvin Community College in Harris County for the Alvin Community College Success Initiative serving Brazoria County with integrated reading, writing and math curricula to model workplace applications for postsecondary youth and adults, along with mentoring, academic counseling and career coaching;             
  • $388,284 to North Central Texas College District in Denton for the Career Services Center project, a community connector linking students to valuable long- and short-term work, internships and co-ops;
  • $350,000 to Project ARRIBA in El Paso County for the Bridging the Gap project designed to improve the educational and employment outcomes of low-income, minority, veteran and unemployed or underemployed adults;                    
  • $325,000 to The Community Learning Center Inc. in Tarrant County for the Manufacturing and Aerospace Assembly Training project providing workforce transition and training for veterans and dislocated workers to addresses an increasing need for workers with advanced manufacturing knowledge and skills;
  • $258,755 to Workforce Solutions Borderplex in El Paso for the Reboot El Paso 2.0 project offering GED training, work-based training and entry-level positions to re-engage disenfranchised youth, ages 16-24, in the growing computer science and information technology sector;
  • $177,520 to Lamar State College Port Arthur in Jefferson County for the Continuing to Build Our Future project offering training in construction site safety, site planning reading, form building, concrete work and scaffolding leading to an Intermediate Certificate in Construction Site Carpentry, as well as three national industry-based certifications; and
  • $165,900 to The Arc of the Capital Area for the Supported Employment project helping 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.

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, and state agencies, including the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The $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.


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