AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Texas Department of Agriculture announced new grant funding Tuesday for accredited high schools, institutions of higher learning and other similar organizations located in rural Texas communities.
The $500,000 in funds, part of the Parallel Pathways to Success grant program, is aimed at expanding workforce training throughout the state to fill the demand for skilled workers in Texas.
Through the development of educational programs that provide job skills and training, students have the ability to concurrently earn their high school diploma and vocational skills certifications or earn college credits.
"Parallel Pathways helps communities align their educational resources with the workforce needs of their local economy," Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said.
"By ensuring our future workforce has the skills employers need, we are not only creating a qualified workforce but encouraging economic development in our rural communities," Staples said.
Since its creation in 2009, the Parallel Pathways to Success grant program has awarded seven grants, totaling more than $750,000, which have benefited Texans across the state.
Rick Moeller, principal of Knox City High School, a 1A public high school 180 miles northwest of Fort Worth, has seen first-hand the impact a Parallel Pathways grant can make.
Knox City High School has been able to help more than 100 students enroll in dual credit courses, more than 50 students to attend college and career fairs and has employed another 50 students in a summer work program through the Texas Workforce Commission.
"What we are willing to invest today will produce dividends later," Moeller said. "The Parallel Pathways grant allowed us to help each one of our students whether they were college, trade school or directly-to-work students."
The deadline to submit grant applications is July 11. To learn more about the Parallel Pathways program and to download an application, visit TexasAgriculture.gov.
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