TWC grant helps employers train workers in a pandemic


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Randy Floyd rattled off the list of classes like an auctioneer.

Everything from basic electronics to blueprint reading.

“There’s a method to the madness,” Floyd, the program manager in the manufacturing department at Austin Community College, said.

Last week, ACC received a $250,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to train workers, catering specifically to needs as a result of the pandemic.

One class, for example, deals with managing through dramatic events.

In ACC’s case, the grant will be used with what Floyd calls the “fast track” manufacturing program, which started in 2014.

He describes it as “complete exposure” to most of the subsystems in a manufacturing setting.

“Manufacturers need to upskill quickly,” he said.

The grant, formally called the Skills Development Fund, has been around since 1996. The state Legislature allocated $22 million in grant funding for the 2020-21 year.

TWC redirected $10 million of that allocation to address COVID-19.

“TWC streamlined the application process to ensure that funds could be awarded quickly to immediately begin training for impacted workers and employers,” TWC spokesman Cisco Gamez said. “We have received 37 applications totaling $6.2 million – eight from local Workforce Boards and 29 from Community Colleges.”

Other examples of training include food handling safety, sanitation and disinfectant processes and event management safety.

As for ACC, their next step is to submit an application to TWC for each company that wants training.

Floyd said around 25 companies have expressed interest. The classes would be in at least eight-hour blocks, that way companies can block out an entire work day.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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