AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Workforce Commission has recently awarded more than $54 million in grants through its Jobs and Education for Texans program to various public community, state and technical colleges, along with Texas school districts and open-enrollment charter schools, some of which are located in the Texas Panhandle.

According to a news release from Abbott’s office, the grant funds are aimed at various entities to purchase equipment to establish or expand career and technical education programs specifically offered to give students the chance to earn a license, certificate or post-secondary degree in fields like nursing, welding, automotive repair and dentistry.

“Texas continues to cultivate a highly-skilled, diverse workforce through major investments in career and technical education training programs for our students,” Abbott said in the release. “Through this over $54 million in job training grants, more Texans will have the opportunity to pursue good-paying jobs in high-demand careers across the state. Texas is the land of economic opportunity, and I thank the Texas Workforce Commission for their ongoing efforts to ensure that our students can grow and thrive in our state’s booming economy.” 

The entities throughout the Texas Panhandle that received funds from this grant program include:

  • Amarillo College
    • The college received $346,340 to help purchase and install equipment to initially serve 80 students to provide training to be in the Industrial Machinery Mechanic field.
  • Frank Phillips College
    • The college received $212,515 to help purchase and install equipment to initially serve 50 students to provide training to be in the Bus and Truck Mechanic field and the Diesel Engine Specialist field.
  • Perryton Independent School District
    • The district received $232,225 to help purchase and install equipment to initially serve 141 students to provide training to be in the field of welders, cutters, solderers and brazers.
  • Sunray ISD
    • The district received $172,810 to help purchase and install equipment to initially serve 50 students to provide training to be in the field of welders, cutters, solderers and brazers.

“It’s important to identify high-demand jobs, but it’s critical to proactively commit resources to ensure Texans are ready to meet those workforce needs,” TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said in the release. “JET grants represent an important investment by TWC to provide training opportunities for the high-demand jobs of both the present and future.”

According to the release, the commission uses the grants to “defray start-up costs” for the entities to develop these career and technical education programs. An advisory board surrounding the grants was established to help administer the funds.

For more information, and to see a full list of awardees, visit the commission’s website.