A bill advocated by the Network of Texas IAF organizations (NTO) has been signed by Gov. Perry and is expected to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs in Texas. HB437 will move the successful JET Program’s Launchpad Fund to a new college home under the name ‘Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Grant Fund’. The legislature also budgeted $5 million for the Fund to invest in high-skill training over the next two years.
“This legislation represents one of the best investments Texas can make in its people,” said Sister Pearl Caesar, Executive Director of Project Quest in San Antonio. “The Network of Texas IAF Organizations and its allies are developing the workforce that our 21st century economy demands and that its business community deserves.”
The ‘Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Grant Fund’ continues the Launchpad Fund (NTO initiated the process to establish the fund in 2009) which provides state grants to innovative workforce intermediaries that partner with community colleges, public technical institutes and businesses. The workforce intermediaries develop the capacity of under-educated and under-employed adults through certified training. With the support of wrap-around services, graduates obtain a certificate or associate degree and move out of poverty and into family-wage jobs with benefits and a career path.
NTO, and its legislative allies, passed the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Texas House and Senate. Texas Senators Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Kel Seliger, and Leticia Van de Putte, plus Representatives John Davis, Sylvester Turner and Mike Villarreal all played critical roles.
Community colleges cite the Texas IAF workforce intermediaries as valuable partners in improving rates of retention and graduation among non-traditional students.
The Network of Texas IAF Organizations (NTO) consists of twelve IAF organizations that have advocated for changes that strengthen Texas for over 30 years. Among other things, NTO was responsible for the creation of six workforce intermediaries that trained 11,000 workers for hard-to-fill positions.
Press Contacts: Minerva Camarena Skeith 512-912-7913
Mike Phillips 210-254-0745