Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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Skills Development Fund (SDF) (Texas)

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    Funder Type

    State Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Texas Workforce Commission


    The state-funded Skills Development Fund provides local customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce. Training providers can use grant funds for curriculum development, training materials, instructor certifications and training equipment additions or upgrades.

    As the primary Skills Development Fund training provider, the college partners gain an enhanced ability to respond to the evolving needs of industry. Businesses gain a more highly trained workforce, workers upgrade their skills, and the economy of Texas strengthens as a whole.

    The Texas Workforce Commission administers funding for the program which involves collaborations among businesses, public community and technical colleges who serve as grantee training providers, the Workforce Development Boards and local economic development partners.  

    Skills Development Fund grants emphasize highly technical training curricula appropriate to the participating business partner's industry. This customized training includes:
    • Tailored curriculum specific to the business partner's needs
    • 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 using real work situations.  
    Wages paid to trainees must be equal to or greater than the prevailing wages for the same or similar occupations in the area where the business is located. Additional factors that may be considered in proposal evaluations include:
    • Positive economic impact on the local region where grant is awarded
    • The applicant's current and past performance on Skills Development Fund grants
    • Equitable geographic distribution of grants awarded across the state
    • The inclusion of small- and medium-sized businesses
    • The fiscal stability of the business partners
    • Cost per trainee is close to that of the statewide average for all Skills Development Fund grants

    History of Funding

    Since its inception in 1996, the skills program has helped 4,446 employers create 116,065 jobs and upgrade the skills of 256,885 incumbent workers, for a total of 372,950 workers trained. Participating workers have received career and/or advancement opportunities at the completion of training, which includes wages equal to or greater than the prevailing wage in the local area. Statewide, the average wage paid to workers trained with skills grants has increased from $10.33 an hour in FY 1996 to $28.54 an hour in FY 2018.

    Additional Information

    To ensure that participating employers receive the training they need to address changing business needs and workforce skills gaps, training courses funded under the program should conform to the parameters for each training category, described below:
    • Business Technical – At least 55% of the total training hours for a Skills Development Fund grant must be business technical courses, which are occupational-specific courses. Industry-specific examples include metrology, pneumatics, mechanical maintenance and; finance, and nurse certification.
    • General Technical – Up to 45% of the total training hours for a Skills Development Fund grant may be general technical courses, which are courses that may be essential to the occupation but are more basic and foundational. General technical training may include, for example, Lean and Six Sigma courses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) courses, and Microsoft Office and other computer courses.
    • Non-Technical – No more than 10% of the total training hours for a Skills Development Fund grant may be in non-technical courses such as leadership, communication and team building courses.


    Cassandra Johnson

    Cassandra Johnson
    Contract Services Department
    101 E 15th St Room 665
    Austin, TX 78778
    (512) 463-2222

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants include:

    • Public community colleges
    • Public technical colleges
    • The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
    • Community-based organization (CBO) in partnership with public community college, technical college or TEEX

    Deadline Details

    Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis.

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

    Award Details

    In Fiscal Year 2018, TWC's skills program:

    • received 58 proposal submissions totaling $27,433,174;
    • funded 50 regular skills grants with an average award of $474,656;
    • served 90 businesses;
    • supported the creation of 4,682 jobs; and
    • assisted with the retraining of 11,494 current workers in existing jobs

    More information is available in the 2018 annual report at https://twc.texas.gov/files/news/skills-development-fund-annual-report-fy-2018-twc.pdf

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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