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Skills Development Fund: Train your workforce; Power your business

It starts with collaboration:

General Program Information

The Skills Development Fund is Texas' premier job–training program providing training dollars for Texas businesses and workers. Administered by the Texas Workforce Commission, success is achieved through collaboration among businesses, public Community and Technical colleges, Local Workforce Development Boards and economic development partners.

For the next two fiscal years (September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2015), TWC has $48 million in Skills Development Funds to support high quality, customized job training projects across the state. Grants for a single business may be limited to $500,000.

How does it work?

A business, consortium of businesses, or trade union identifies a training need, and then partners with a public Community or Technical college to fill its specific needs. Businesses work with college partners to submit proposals, develop curricula and conduct training. The Skills Development Fund pays for the training, the college administers the grant, and businesses create new jobs and improve the skills of their current workers.

How does TWC help?

TWC provides access to a team of highly skilled professionals who provide technical assistance, at no charge, to help streamline the development of projects and proposals. Our team is available to work directly with employers, colleges, Local Workforce Development Boards and economic development partners throughout the life of the project to ensure employers are getting the training their workers need.

The Business Outreach and Project Development Team will:

  • Provide technical assistance
  • Advise and assist partners with developing quality proposals
  • Review "draft" proposals prior to formal submission

Project developers are highly encouraged to take advantage of technical assistance prior to final proposal submission.

Please contact the Business Outreach and Project Development Team today toll-free at 877-463-1777 or Skills@twc.state.tx.us to discuss your project.


Businesses & EmployersEmployers — it starts with collaboration and commitment!

As a Texas employer, you are the focus of the Skills Development Fund. As an employer, 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.

Along with the identification of your training needs and the number of employees to be trained, there is also a requirement for specific information about your business. The specific items required from the participating employers have been identified in the Private Partner Information Form below. This form is a required component of a complete proposal submission.

A private business, business consortium, or trade union in need of workforce training and funding assistance can rely on an experienced network of partners for guidance along the Skills Development Fund path. These additional project partners are the Community or Technical College, the Local Workforce Development Board, and the Business Outreach and Project Development Team.

Together, under the Skills Development Fund program, businesses gain a more highly trained workforce, workers upgrade their skills, and the Texas economy is strengthened.

During Fiscal Year 2012, TWC
  • Awarded 50 Skills Development Fund grants
  • Totaling $22,441,693
  • Served 111 Texas businesses
  • Supported the creation of 5,108 new jobs and
  • Upgrading the skills of 14,732 workers in existing jobs

Business & Employer Forms

Please contact the Business Outreach and Project Development Team today toll-free at 877-463-1777 or Skills@twc.state.tx.us to discuss your project.

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College Partners — Customizing the curriculum for the employer's needsCollege Partners

As a public community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service, you are the grant applicant, fiscal agent, and coordinator for the training executed under a Skills Development Fund grant project.

Skills Development Fund grants can cover tuition, curriculum development, instructor fees and training materials. Your initial role will be to assist the businesses in identifying their skills gaps and developing a customized curriculum.

New symbol Customized training is critical for maintaining the strength of Texas businesses and industry as they strive to remain competitive in a global economy. To support business partners as they achieve this through Skills-funded training, the grants emphasize highly technical training curricula according to the participating business partner’s industry. Training includes:

  • Tailored curriculum
  • Classes conducted at the employer’s site or at the training provider’s location
  • Flexible class schedules to minimize impact to employers
  • Addressing company needs in real time with real situations

New symbol Effective Fiscal Year 2013, when tailoring a customized curriculum, courses are classified under three categories to ensure that participating employers receive the training they need to address changing business needs, as well workforce skills gaps. The three training categories are:

  • Business Technical – This category includes occupational-specific courses. Industry-specific examples would include Metrology, Pneumatics, Mechanical Maintenance, and Programmable Logic Controller, etc. Training hours for this category must be at least 55 percent of a Skills grant total training hours.
  • General Technical – This category includes courses that may be essential to the job, but are more basic and foundational in nature.  Types of training in this category may include Lean and Six Sigma courses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration courses, and Microsoft Office and other computer courses. Training hours for this category may be up to 45 percent of a Skills grant total training hours.
  • Non-Technical – This category includes leadership, project management, and strategic planning.  Training hours for this category must not be more than 10 percent of Skills grant total training hours.

Project proposal submissions are accepted throughout the year. Projects typically are executed over a 12-month period.

College Partner Forms

In addition to the above forms completed by the College Partner, a Local Workforce Development Board Review & Comment Form is also required with the applicant's proposal submission package. This form can be found in the Local Workforce Development Boards and Economic Development Partners section.

Please contact the Workforce Business Services Business Outreach and Project Development Team at 877-463-1777 or Skills@twc.state.tx.us to discuss your project.

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Workforce & Economic DevelopmentLocal Workforce Development Boards and Economic Development Partners

As a Local Workforce Development Board or an economic development partner, you build relationships with area businesses to facilitate partnerships — identifying new and expanding businesses that could be candidates for participation in a Skills Development Fund project.

You are also aware of industry growth and occupational needs, and are able to provide insight regarding labor market information and the economic plans for growth in the community. This helps ensure that projects are developed in conjunction with the local economic development strategy.

The Local Workforce Development Board Review & Comment Form is a required component of a complete proposal package. It allows a Board to comment on Skills Development Fund projects in their area. A Board's involvement in the development of a Skills Development Fund proposal may also lead to the coordination and possible leverage of area resources that further strengthen a project.

Board Form

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Resources and Contact InformationResources & Contact Information

Overview Presentation

Proposal Component Forms

Skills for Small Business Program Information

Skills for Veterans Initiative Program Information

Self-Sufficiency Fund Program Information

Annual Reports

Additional Information


TWC Contact

Please contact Workforce Business Services Outreach and Project Development toll-free at 877-463-1777 or Skills@twc.state.tx.us with questions or comments

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Last Verified: December 16, 2013

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Last Revision: December 16, 2013