Governor Abbott Announces Over $6.3 Million In Workforce Grants

June 24, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced over $6.3 million in Texas Talent Connection grants were awarded to 20 innovative workforce skills training and job placement programs in communities across the state. Since 2015, Governor Abbott has awarded over $50 million in Texas Talent Connection grants. 

“Texas dominates the nation in job creation thanks to the strength of our young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce,” said Governor Abbott. “Continuing to meet growing workforce demands across existing and emerging industries is critical to expand opportunities for prosperity for more Texas families. Through the Texas Talent Connection Grant program, I am proud to connect more Texans to the skills needed to advance in high-demand careers and more employers to Texans with the skills needed to expand their businesses.”  

Administered by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism, the competitive Texas Talent Connection grant program supports 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 $6,367,447 in Texas Talent Connection grant awards announced include:

  • American YouthWorks: $350,000 for year one of the YouthBuild: Pre-Apprenticeship for Opportunity Youth project in Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties. The grant provides pre-apprenticeship for opportunity youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not sufficiently engaged in employment or education. The grant will provide integrated education and training that may include industry-recognized certifications, work-based learning, and guided connections to employment, registered apprenticeship, and postsecondary education and training at no cost to participants.


  • Bay Area Houston Advanced Technology Consortium: $214,988 for year one of the High Demand Hidden Careers Connection project serving Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties. The grant provides unemployed participants with job training and job placement services in the medical research administrators field as responsible conduct of research analysts, conflict of interest analysts, institutional review board analysts, institutional animal care and use analysts, coverage analysts, budget analysts, research charge review analysts, and regulatory affairs specialists. 


  • Community Learning Centers, Inc.: $325,000 for year one of the Maintenance and Repair Technician Training project in Tarrant County. The grant provides an innovative training and employment program for veterans, unemployed, underemployed, and those with low-income and low-skill backgrounds to acquire and master basic knowledge and skills for entry-level maintenance and repair workers certification in multiple industry sectors.  


  • Houston’s Capital IDEA, Inc.: $350,000 for year two 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. The grant provides education and training in the nursing and technology fields for unemployed or underemployed low-income adults.


  • JPS Health Network: $347,074 for year one of the Students in Healthcare for Individual Empowerment (SHINE) project serving Tarrant County. The grant provides training for clinical and non-clinical job opportunities and certifications in patient care technician, EKG phlebotomy, and CPR to high school student interns, ages 16–18, through the SHINE program.


  • Lamar State College Port Arthur: $350,000 for year two of the Sempra LNG – Clean Energy and Fair Jobs project serving Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, and Orange counties. The grant provides training for minority, under-served, or rural students in high-quality transportation and construction jobs for the Sempra LNG construction project.


  • Lamar Institute of Technology: $247,395 for year two of the Drive Southeast Texas Talent project serving Jefferson County. The grant provides online and in-person technical skills training for low- to moderate-income, underrepresented and/or under-served, nontraditional, and bilingual individuals in need of upskilling, career counseling, and job placement. Industry-based certification opportunities include clinical medical assistant, medication aide, AutoCAD draftsman, welding, and transportation.


  • My Possibilities: $350,000 for year two of the My Possibilities Employment Innovations School project serving Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, and Tarrant counties. The grant will provide adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities with a hands-on vocational training and certification program in the retail, culinary arts, hospitality, technology, administration, and facilities industries.


  • North Central Texas College: $350,000 for year one of the Career Circuit: Accelerating Information Technology Careers Through Work-Based Partnership project serving North Central Texas College students in Cooke, Denton, Montague, and Young counties. The grant provides student interns with on-the-job experience with area employers in the fields of computer information systems and technology, cybersecurity, networking, and data analytics and management.


  • Oak Cliff Empowered: $349,050 for year one of the Oak Cliff Works project serving Dallas County. The grant provides training and certifications to low- and moderate-income Dallas Independent School District high school graduates for job opportunities in the healthcare industry.


  • Per Scholas, Inc.: $350,000 for year one of the Creating Economic Mobility and Robust Futures Through Information Technology Training project serving Collin, Dallas, Denton, Fort Bend, Harris, Houston, and Tarrant counties. The grant provides tuition-free technical skill training for job opportunities such as help desk analysts, desktop support technicians, and associate network engineers in the information technology industry.


  • Project ARRIBA: $350,000 for year one of Educare: Elevating Nursing and Education in El Paso project, serving El Paso County. The grant provides training for underserved/at-risk El Pasoans by enrolling them in the program’s award-winning workforce development model of intense case management and wraparound services. This model helps participants succeed in postsecondary education, leading graduates to secure employment in the high-demand occupations of nursing, education, and healthcare.


  • Restore Education: $350,000 for year one of Opportunity Youth Job Training to Success project serving Bexar, Frio, Gillespie, Karnes, Kendall, McMullen, Medina, and Wilson counties. The grant provides training in the form of paid work experience or internship to opportunity youth, foster youth, and justice-involved youth to help secure certifications and employment for in-demand career opportunities in customer service, bookkeeping, pharmacy tech, phlebotomy, and Commercial Driver License.


  • Skillpoint Alliance: $210,000 for year two of the Expanding Rural Community Economic Pathways project in Andrews, Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coryell, Dawson, Fayette, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hays, Howard, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Milam, Mills, Pecos, Reeves, San Saba, Tom Green, Travis, and Williamson counties. The grant utilizes 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.


  • South Texas College: $126,459 for year one of the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Technician Assistant project serving Starr and Hidalgo counties. The grant provides training throughout the Rio Grande Valley for the new, high-demand HVACR technician assistant industry certification, leading to employment with regional employers.


  • Tarrant To and Through Partnership: $347,481 for year one of the Pathways to Postsecondary Success project serving Tarrant and Dallas counties. The grant provides guidance in closing the workforce preparedness gap for economically vulnerable opportunity youth by increasing educational and credential attainment, access, and economic mobility through comprehensive career advising and placement, resulting in certifications for phlebotomists, nursing assistants, structural metal fabricators and fitters, construction and extraction, automotive technicians, and database network administrators and architects.


  • Texas A&M Prairie View: $350,000 for year one of PathFinderU project serving Harris, Liberty, Fort Bend, and Waller counties. The grant provides career training, certifications, and job opportunities for high-demand, high-wage, sustainable careers in cybersecurity, carpentry, plumbing, and low-voltage electrical wiring.


  • Texas Tech University: $350,000 for year two of the Data Science Training Program for Industry, University, and High School Students serving Armstrong, Bailey, Carson, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Terry, and Yoakum counties. The grant will provide 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.


  • Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement: $350,000 for year one of the Rio Grande Valley Healthcare Professional Expansion Initiative project serving residents in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties. Through its partnerships with 13 area hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley, this grant project provides training for certification and employment for high-demand careers in healthcare support, licensed practical and vocational nursing, registered nurses, therapists, and health technologists and technicians.


  • Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County: $350,000 for year one of the Neighborhood Initiative Strategy project serving Tarrant County. The grant provides full-time workforce center staff within two Fort Worth neighborhood community centers to expand work-based opportunities for residents 18 years or older. Opportunities include apprenticeships and certifications for community health worker, certified medical assistant, Commercial Driver License, forklift operator, certified supply chain professional, certified production and inventory management, certified fundamentals cook, certified sous chef, Quick Books, Microsoft Certified Excel, and Class D Water license.

The Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & 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 service 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 Texas Economic Development & Tourism Office. The more than $6.3 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.

Read more about the Texas Talent Connection grant program at: