The Skills Development Fund program assists businesses and trade unions by financing the design and implementation of customized job-training projects. This fund successfully merges business needs and local customized training opportunities into a winning formula
to increase the skills levels and wages of the Texas workforce.
Becoming a Partner
As a Texas employer, you are the focus of the Skills Development Fund. You provide two things – a desire to collaborate with the other partners involved with the project and the commitment
to see the project through to completion.
To be considered for a Skills Development Fund grant, the private business, business consortium or trade union must:
- Partner with an eligible grant applicant, which is a public community or technical college, the Texas Engineering Extension Service, or a private, nonprofit community-based organization in partnership with one of those institutions.
- Be actively involved in the planning and design of the customized training project.
- Pay wages to the employees who successfully complete the training program that are equal to or greater than the prevailing wage for the occupation in the local labor market.
- Disclose any other state or federal grant funds sought or awarded for the proposed training project.
- Sign an agreement with the grant applicant outlining each entity’s roles and responsibilities in the training project, including reporting requirements related to trainee participation.
- Provide equal employment opportunity documentation as well as information on the occupations for training, employment benefits, wages and social security numbers for trainees.
- Use WorkinTexas.com to post openings for new workers trained under the project.
Grant Award Information
Grants for a single business may be limited to $500,000. Tuition, curriculum development, instructor fees and training materials can be included, however, trainee wages, drug testing and
certain travel cost and equipment purchases cannot be covered. Contract typically are for 12 months.
During fiscal year 2016, TWC:
- Awarded 43 Skills Development Fund grants totaling $26,730,404
- Served 98 Texas businesses
- Supported the creation of 3,942 new jobs
- Upgraded the skills of 9,333 workers in existing jobs
Through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills for Small Business program, up to $2 million from the Skills Development Fund is dedicated to the backbone of Texas’ business community-our small employers.
Small businesses can apply to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). TWCprocesses the applications and works with the college to fund the specific courses selected by businesses for their employees.
This exceptional opportunity supports businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and emphasizes training for new workers though it also may help upgrade the skills of incumbent workers.
Skills for Small Business emphasizes training newly hired employees, those who have been hired by the business up to twelve months prior to the date that TWC receives an application.
The program pays up to $1,800 for each new employee being trained and $900 for existing employees per 12-month period.
- Funding for training is for full-time employees.
- All training must be provided by a public community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). No third-party vendor training is allowed.
- Training must be selected from active course catalogs/schedules- credit, continuing education, online or other available unpublished courses.
- Employers must pay the prevailing wages in the local labor market for the trainees funded under the grant.
How to Apply
- Identify new or incumbent employees to be trained.
- Identify each employee’s job/occupational title and corresponding Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code. Employers may use the Texas AutoCoder to find the best match between job titles/descriptions and SOC-coded occupations.
- Identify employee’s wages. Wages must meet or exceed prevailing wage for the area where the business is located.
- Identify the two-year public community or technical college nearest your location using the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s College Locator.
- Select training course(s) from the regular credit, continuing education and/or online course catalogs. TWC maintains a list of links to College Class Schedules.
- Determine if the occupation has been identified by your local Workforce Development Board as a targeted occupation. Skills for Small Business emphasizes training in occupations targeted by the Workforce Development Board.
- Complete and submit the application directly to TWC, by email: [email protected] or fax: 512-463-7187.
- View the Skills for Small Business FAQ for additional information on completing and submitting applications to TWC
The Self Sufficiency Fund provides training grants to community and technical colleges and community-based organizations 501(c)(3) who deliver job training that will lead to industry-recognized certificates and credentials for adult recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) individuals earning less than $37,000 annually with a dependent child (custodial or non-custodial) or individual at risk of becoming dependent on public assistance.
How the Self Sufficiency Fund Works
Eligible training providers applying for a grant may include nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-based organizations, Texas public community or technical colleges, or the Texas Engineering Extension
Service (TEEX). Training providers must:
- Gain letters of support from local businesses indicating support of job skills training to be offered in project
- Work closely with the local Workforce Development Board to assist with identifying eligible participants
- Complete and submits grant application to TWC
- Coordinate and deliver training
- Administer the grant
The Self-Sufficiency Fund pays for curriculum development, instructor fees, and certifications, training materials, certain work-related expenses for trainees and some training equipment. Applicants may receive up to $500,000 per proposal.
Training must be provided in one of the following industry clusters. Training may be for core, ancillary or support occupations that establishes a career path toward higher-level occupations.
Target Industry Clusters are:
- Advanced Technologies and Manufacturing
- Aerospace and Defense
- Biotechnology and Life Sciences
- Information and Computer Technology
- Petroleum Refining and Chemical Products
Training can be delivered through a variety of methods including classroom, simulations, online instruction, and on-the-job instruction.
TWC accepts project proposal submissions throughout the year for training programs that typically last for 12 months.
Collaboration between training providers, businesses, and Workforce Development Boards is required. Efforts may include:
- Letters of support from the local business indicating the number of job openings and support of job skills training being offered in the project
- Endorsement of the project from the Workforce Development Board
- Contributions from other resources that are committed to the project
The TWC Skills for Veterans initiative dedicates $1 million from the Skills Development Fund to address the training needs of post-9/11 veterans returning home and entering the Texas workforce. Skills for Veterans will enhance the skills of veterans, which will benefit Texas employers. Employers who hire post-9/11 era veterans, especially those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn or Operation Enduring Freedom, may be eligible to participate in this training opportunity.
All private businesses, including private, nonprofit hospitals, can apply to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), to upgrade the skills of newly hired veterans. We review the applications and work with the college to fund the specific courses selected by businesses for their employees.
To participate in Skills for Veterans, a business must meet all of these requirements:
- Be a private, for-profit business, or private nonprofit hospital
- Employ at least one full-time, permanent individual
- Be financially stable
- Be liable to pay Unemployment Insurance contributions to TWC, and be in compliance with the reporting and payment requirements
- Be in compliance with the Texas Business and Commerce Code