Governor Abbott Announces Texas Talent Connection Program And Presents $500,000 In Grants

April 27, 2018 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced the new Texas Talent Connection program and presented $500,000 in grants for middle-skill STEM internship programs created by local workforce boards from across the state. These are the first awards from the Texas Talent Connection program this year and will provide high school or community and technical college students the opportunity to earn class credit, industry certification and on-the-job experience through work-based internships in middle-skill STEM occupations across a range of industries. More than $5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants will be awarded this year for innovative education and workforce training programs. Today’s announcement was made at Samsung Austin Semiconductor, a leading Texas employer where these advanced skills are in demand.

“We know from talking to Texas’ top employers like Samsung that an important factor in business success is a skilled workforce with the technical skills and industry certifications that are in such high demand,” said Governor Abbott.

“We want to connect more Texans to workforce training opportunities so they can advance in high-demand careers more quickly, and we want to connect more employers to work-ready skilled Texans so they can continue to create even more jobs. Today’s announcement is a win-win-win for students, employers and the state of Texas.”

“We are pleased to partner with Governor Abbott on the Texas Talent Connection grant which will offer internship opportunities in high-demand middle-skill STEM occupations," said Commissioner Ruth Ruggero Hughs, Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Employers. “Offering employer-led, real-world work experience through internships allows employers to connect with our future workforce and maintain their economic competitiveness.”

The Texas Talent Connection middle-skill STEM internships will provide critical training for good-paying and in-demand positions such as medical technicians, network support specialists, engineering technicians, quality control technicians, welders and more.

The Texas Talent Connection middle-skill STEM internships grants announced today include:

  • $100,000 awarded to East Texas Workforce Solutions of Kilgore for healthcare internships
  • $98,945 awarded to Greater Dallas Workforce Solutions for advanced manufacturing internships
  • $56,707 awarded to Heart of Texas Workforce Solutions in Waco for welding internships
  • $81,076 awarded to Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Solutions in McAllen for IT, automotive and electrician internships
  • $100,000 awarded to Texoma Workforce Solutions in Sherman for manufacturing internships
  • $92,998 awarded to West Central Texas Workforce Solutions in Abilene for agriculture, industrial, automotive, energy and manufacturing internships

The Texas Talent Connection program, supporting innovative education and workforce training programs, is managed by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division. A total of more than $5 million in grants to be awarded by the program throughout the year are Wagner-Peyser 7(b) grant funds allocated to the Governor’s Office by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Texas Workforce Commission will administer the grants, and in the case of these first internship grants will track progress and completion rates, hire rates and wages earned with the potential to expand these employer-driven, work-based internship programs in future years.