Monday, July 8, 2013

Expanding Workforce Skills in Texas

Ensuring Texas workers have the skills to compete in today’s marketplace is key to continued economic success in Texas. Here at the Texas Department of Agriculture, we’re working hard to help education providers in rural communities equip students with the critical skills needed to meet local workforce needs—whether it’s through direct career training or a traditional college route.

TDA is currently accepting applications for our Parallel Pathways to Success grants, which help develop educational programs for students to earn vocational skills certifications or college credits at the same time they are completing their high school diploma.

Parallel Pathways is a terrific program that equips students with workforce skills that can be translated into successful careers. Since we started awarding Parallel Pathways grants in 2009, hundreds of current and former students have benefited from the program.

It’s through programs like Parallel Pathways that we can achieve the absolute best for Texas. Lampasas County Higher Education Center used a Parallel Pathways grant to help more than 600 students receive career and college readiness assistance. Take Knox City High School as another example: Grant funding helped more than 100 students enroll in dual credit courses, allowed more than 50 students to attend college and career fairs, and employed another 50 students in a summer work program through the Texas Workforce Commission.

Skilled workers are in demand in Texas, and we need them to ensure our economy continues to flourish. To learn more and find out if you qualify, I invite you to visit us online. The deadline to apply is July 11, so the window to take advantage of this opportunity is closing soon. Thank you for helping to shape the future of Texas’ workforce for the better.

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