Governor Greg Abbott today announced over $6.5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants awarded to 21 workforce skills training and job placement programs in communities across the state.
“Thanks to our young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce, Texas is the best state for business,” said Governor Abbott. “Meeting the needs of Texas employers by providing a continuing pipeline of workers with in-demand skills is paramount to ensure expanding economic opportunity in communities across the state. I am proud that Texas continues to connect more employers to work-ready skilled Texans and more Texans to in-demand skills training for higher-paying careers and career advancement—creating a brighter Texas of tomorrow for all.”
Administered by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Office of Texas Economic Development and Tourism, the competitive grants support innovative education and workforce skills training programs that lead to successful job placement, increased wages, and improved job retention, as well as serve workforce populations with special needs.
The $6,564,080 in Texas Talent Connection grant awards announced include:
- Alvin Community College: $350,000 for year three of the New Beginnings project; serving Angelina, Bee, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Hayes, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Montgomery, Polk, Travis, Walker, and Wharton counties; providing recently released offenders with job placement assistance and workforce training to reduce recidivism.
- American YouthWorks: $349,929 for year three of the YouthBuild Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship project; serving Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties; providing secondary education, job skills, and job placement through paid training and certifications in manufacturing for unemployed or underemployed Texans, ages 16 to 24, who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market.
- The Bay Area Houston Advanced Technology Consortium: $254,893 for year three of the Aerospace/Space/Aviation Technician Readiness project; serving Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties; providing unemployed high school graduates, displaced workers, and other unemployed Texans with job training and job placement as certified electrical and composite technicians in the aerospace, space, and aviation industries.
- Community Learning Centers, Inc.: $325,000 for year three of the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration project; serving Collin, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufmann, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise counties; providing job training and job placement in entry-level residential mechanic and technician positions in the construction industry for veterans, unemployed, underemployed, and low-income adults in need of upskilling.
- Goodwill of Central Texas: $244,165 for year one of the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy and Commercial Driver License project; serving Travis County; providing adults with barriers to employment the training needed to become a heavy and tractor trailer truck driver by earning an industry-recognized Commercial Driver License credential.
- Harris County Hospital District: $349,999 for year one of the Pharmacy Technician Advancement Program; serving Harris County; providing simulation center-based training at an affiliated community college, preparing students for a national certification examination and employment as a pharmacy technician within the Harris Health System.
- Houston’s Capital IDEA: $350,000 for year one of the Future-Focused Texas Workforce Pathways in Nursing and Technology project; serving Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, and Waller counties; providing education and training in the nursing and technology fields for unemployed or underemployed low-income adults.
- Lamar State College Port Arthur: $298,673 for year one of the Sempra LNG – Clean Energy and Fair Jobs project; serving Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, and Orange counties; providing training for minority, underserved, or rural students in high-quality transportation and construction jobs for the Sempra LNG construction project.
- Lamar Institute of Technology: $241,540 for year one of the Drive Southeast Texas Talent project; serving Jefferson County; providing online and in-person technical skills training for low-to-moderate-income, underrepresented and/or underserved, nontraditional, and bilingual individuals in need of upskilling, career counseling, and job placement for industry-based certification opportunities including clinical medical assistant, medication aide, AutoCAD draftsman, welding, and transportation.
- Lone Star College: $349,921 for year two of the Strategic Engagement for Student Career Planning project; serving Harris and Montgomery counties; providing workforce and job readiness planning to first-generation students in the areas of manufacturing, automotive, information technology, business, visual communications, and healthcare.
- My Possibilities: $350,000 for year one of the My Possibilities Employment Innovations School project; serving Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, and Tarrant counties; providing adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities with hands-on vocational training and certification in the retail, culinary arts, hospitality, technology, administration, and facilities industries.
- North Central Texas College: $336,357 for year three of the Logistics Program; serving North Central Texas College students in Cooke, Denton, Montague, Texoma, and Young counties; providing fast-track, accelerated training in supply chain logistics.
- NPower: $350,000 for year three of the Tech Fundamentals project; serving unemployed and underemployed veterans, veteran spouses, and reservists in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Rockwell, Smith, Tarrant, and Wise counties; providing tuition-free job training, credentialing, and job placement in industry-relevant digital careers.
- Project ARRIBA: $350,000 for year three of the Equitable Opportunities through Post-Secondary Access project; serving El Paso County; providing post-secondary education, job training, certification, and job placement in the healthcare industry for low-income, unemployed, or underemployed adults.
- Skillpoint Alliance: $150,000 for year one of the Launching Rural Community Economic Pathways project; serving Andrews, Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coryell, Dawson, Fayette, Hamilton, Hays, Howard, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Milam, Pecos, San Saba, Tom Green, Travis, and Williamson counties; utilizing Skillpoint Alliance’s Rapid Employment Model to provide fast-paced skill building and placement to veterans and veterans’ spouses in rural communities to place them in the advanced trades or manufacturing industries.
- Texas State Technical College: $216,526 for year two of the Commercial Driver License Professional Driving Academy – Brownwood project; serving Brown, Coleman, Eastland, McCullough, and San Saba counties; providing Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act eligible trainees, 18 years or older, with driver training to earn a Texas Class A commercial license.
- Texas Tech University: $350,000 for year one of the Data Science Training Program for Industry, University and High School Students; serving Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motely, Terry, and Yoakum counties; providing for the development of a new, region-specific, data science training program tied to occupational skills acquisition, job placement, and career enhancement for current and future industry professionals in the electric power, wind, agriculture, and petroleum industries.
- The University of Houston – Downtown: $349,957 for year two of the University of Houston – Downtown Intentionally Maximizing Workforce Skills project; serving Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties; providing underrepresented STEM students with career training in software development, software quality assurance, biotechnical, cybersecurity, and food security.
- The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement: $350,000 for year three of the Rio Grande Valley Industry Specialized Training and Workforce Innovation project; serving residents in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties; providing training and certifications for allied health, aerospace, and liquid natural gas industry entry-level positions to individuals who are 18 years or older, unemployed, or living under federal poverty guidelines.
- Volunteers of America: $350,000 for year one of the Advancing Career Pathways project; serving Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, and Waller counties; providing vocational training resulting in an industry-recognized certification, license, or accreditation in advanced manufacturing areas, including Commercial Driver License Class A, B, C, Defensive Flagging; electrician; welding; forklift; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; plumbing, and occupational health and safety specialist.
- Workforce Solutions of Southeast Texas: $297,120 for year three of the Southeast Texas Internship and Externship Training project; serving Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange counties; providing Texans, 18 to 24 years, who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market, with eight-week paid internships.
The Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism assists the Governor and the Texas 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’s appointed members represent workforce system partners and stakeholders, including business and industry, organized labor, education, and community-based organizations. Ex officio members include the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the Governor’s Office of Texas Economic Development and Tourism. The more than $6.5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants awarded this year by Governor Abbott are Wagner-Peyser 7(b) grant funds allocated to the Office of the Governor by the U.S. Department of Labor to encourage innovation in workforce training and job placement services.