AUSTIN — The Texas Workforce Commission has announced the launch of Skills for Veterans, an initiative to address the unique challenges and training needs of veterans who served in the military post 9/11, many of whom are returning to the Texas workforce.
TWC has designated $1 million from the state’s Skills Development Fund to establish the initiative, which offsets employer training costs for eligible veteran new hires in an effort to expedite the return of veterans to the workforce. Gov. Rick Perry touted the industry-driven initiative during a recent Veterans Day ceremony in Dime Box.
“The leadership, experience and skills veterans bring back home are a valuable asset to Texas employers,” Gov. Perry said. “The Skills for Veterans initiative will help make it that much easier to connect highly-qualified post-9/11 veterans with Texas employers who are seeking these talented and experienced individuals.”
Skills for Veterans will provide post-9/11 veterans with training that employers identify as necessary for the business’ growth. The initiative will provide up to $1,450 for tuition and fees in a 12-month period for each eligible veteran new hire. Private employers in Texas must partner with public community and technical colleges in their area or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) to develop the training programs.
“Approximately 1,500 veterans who served in the military post 9/11 separate from military service and return to Texas each month, joining more than 200,000 post-9/11 veterans already residing in Texas,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Skills for Veterans will help ensure that these service men and women have the opportunity to receive training and occupational certifications in high-demand industries, such as oil and gas.”
The hourly wage for each veteran trained under Skills for Veterans must meet or exceed the prevailing wage for that occupation in the local labor market. Visit www.texasworkforce.org/svcs/funds/skills-veterans-initiative.html for more information about the new program.
“These brave service members and veterans have answered the call to serve their country during war time at great personal risk,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “The Skills for Veterans initiative will provide post-9/11 veterans the training necessary to be competitive in the civilian workforce and offer them greater opportunities to connect with employers.”
Employers are also encouraged to hire veterans by attending one of the 27 Hiring Red, White & You! career fairs being held throughout Texas today. More information on the Hiring Red, White & You! job fair can be found at www.texasworkforce.org .
There is a high demand across the state for workers with skills training,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Tom Pauken. “This initiative will not only help to bring home our veterans the right way, it will also help grow our private sector by filling a great need in today’s workforce.”