Local workers who have recently lost their jobs and youth who will soon be entering the work place will benefit from more federal stimulus money that's headed for the Texas Panhandle.
The Texas panhandle will receive more than $1 million of the $150 million in funds to get Texans back to work.
The stimulus money will expand the existing Workforce Investment Act programs for adults, youth, and anyone recently laid off.
Leaders from the Texas Workforce Commission and local community colleges recently met in Austin to decide how to effectively use those funds.
Panhandle Workforce Solution will take the money sent to the Texas Workforce Commission and use it to partner with local community colleges to provide customized job training in targeted local industries so employees can get back to work.
"[We want to] find the match that gives them the fastest opportunities to get those skills sets to get them the next job," said Frank Phillips College President Dr. Herbert Swender.
Frank Phillips, Clarendon, and Amarillo College will be working in the upcoming weeks to expand their technical training programs for local industries like wind energy, healthcare, and pipe fitting.
"We are very interested now in doing some programs that help train displaced workers. You know, fortunately we have not been hit as hard here in the local area [in regards to] the recessioStimulus money headed for the Texas panhandle, News at Sixn as some parts of the country but it is beginning to affect the area, we all know that," said acting Amarillo College President Dr. Paul Matney.
Almost $800,000 coming to the panhandle will be used on summer youth programs.
Those programs will educate low-income youth from 14- to 24-years old and help them learn about whatever career path they may want to take.
"What better investment than back in our own people," said Swender.
All three programs covered in the federal stimulus package have eligibility requirements.
Governor Rick Perry was also on hand in Austin at the meeting called by the Texas Workforce Commission.
He again called for the Texas legislature to invest at least $60 million in the Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund for the upcoming biennium. His proposal would expand the program by $10 million over the next two years.
Since it's creation in 1996, the fund has helped more than 3,000 employers train more than 200,000 workers.
American Recover and Reinvestment Act
Texas will receive:
- WIA Adult: $34,344,771
- WIA Dislocated Worker: $53,768,305
- WIA Youth: $82,000,708
- Wagner-Peyser Employment Service: $27,188,088
- Senior Community Service Employment Program: $1,316,701
For more information from the Texas Workforce Commission, go to http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/funds/arra.html
The Texas Panhandle will receive: