‘It’s really helpful’: Central Texas workforce programs receive thousands of dollars in state funding

‘It’s really helpful’: Central Texas workforce programs receive thousands of dollars in state funding

‘It’s really helpful’: Central Texas workforce programs receive thousands of dollars in state funding

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Central Texas nonprofits just received more money to help their efforts to grow our workforce.

Twenty job training and job placement programs received more than $6.3 million in grants, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday.

The funding came through the Texas Talent Connection grant program, an initiative designed to help “innovative job skills education and training programs that lead to successful job placement, increased wages and improved job retention,” according to the release. .

Two of those programs are in the Austin area: American YouthWorks and Skillpoint Alliance.

‘Reach rural communities’

Skillpoint Alliance received $210,000 from the grant program.

CEO Kevin Brackmeyer said it will help them reach rural communities in all the areas they serve.

“We have seen many people attending our training coming from outside of these rural communities. We felt it was urgent that we start really reaching out to those communities and helping them train.”

Kevin Brackmeyer, CEO of Skillpoint Alliance

Brackmeyer said they are organizing temporary training in those rural areas. He said the grant will also help expand the times they can train.

Skill Point Alliance
Skill Point Alliance
Skill Point Alliance

“Adding more nighttime and daytime training sites with a focus on specific populations,” Brackmeyer said. “One of them is the veterans who we love to serve.”

Skillpoint Alliance electrical instructor Matthew Singer is a veteran.

“Veterans are hard to reach,” Singer said. “There are often large populations in Killeen and San Antonio. So we try to reach out to them and give them the opportunity to move from the military to commerce.”

‘Serve more young people’

American YouthWorks is another Austin nonprofit that receives the Texas Talent Connection Grant Program.

“Typically, students spend half their time in our academic programs, finishing their GED or high school diploma, and half their time in pre-apprenticeship job training programs,” said YouthBuild program director, David Clauss.

Clauss said his $350,000 will go to YouthBuild, a program for young adults who have not finished high school.

“Our YouthBuild program’s job training focuses on Austin’s economy,” Class said. “We provide job training in healthcare, IT, manufacturing and construction in skilled trades.”

With this additional support, Clauss said they can support between 120 and 150 youth.

The nonprofit said 80% of YouthBuild graduates go on to higher education or get a job in Austin’s economy.

American youth works
American youth works

YouthBuild participant Eloy Vásquez is planning that in his future.

“In fact, after this, I want to join trade school. “A lot of the skills I have learned here will definitely translate to the careers I intend to pursue.”

Eloy Vásquez, YouthBuild participant

Collectively, more than $50 million in grants have been awarded through the state’s grant program since 2015.