The Skills Development Fund (SDF) program assists businesses and trade unions by financing the design and implementation of customized job training projects. The SDF program does not preclude the use of funds for literacy and adult education, if a business identifies this as a need. This fund successfully merges business needs and local customized training opportunities into a winning formula to increase the skills level and wages of the Texas workforce.
Businesses and trade unions must partner with an eligible applicant in order to be considered for Skills Development Fund grants. Eligible applicants are public community or technical colleges, the Texas Engineering Extension Service or a community-based organization working in partnership with one of these institutions.
The average cost for an SDF trainee is approximately $1,500 with a standard length 12 month contract, although the actual cost can be higher or lower. If the cost per trainee for a proposed project is higher than the average, an application may strengthen its proposal by including justification for higher cost.
During Fiscal Year 2007 (September 1, 2006 - August 31, 2007), The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded 55 grants totaling $25,059,808, which served 281 businesses, generated 7,073 new jobs and upgraded the skills of 13,758 workers in existing jobs. For Fiscal Year 2008, TWC has $25 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.
The Texas Municipal League has assumed editing and publication of the Economic Development Handbook. The publication, originally prepared by the Texas attorney general’s office, had become out-of-date. League staff, as well as several recognized legal experts, have updated the handbook and posted it online. It will be updated following each session of the Texas Legislature. The publication is only available online and can be downloaded in PDF format.