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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
March 29, 2010

Comptroller Awards $6.37 Million in Equipment and Job Training Grants

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs today announced 17 colleges across the state will receive more than $3.51 million in Job Building Fund grants, while 10 nonprofit organizations will receive more than $2.86 million in Launchpad Funds through a program to help Texans get technical training for careers in fast-growing, high-demand occupations.

The Job Building Fund grants help finance equipment purchases for new career and technical education programs that support high-growth industries throughout the state. The Launchpad Fund supports and expands existing nonprofit programs with a proven track record of good performance.

“We’re using the Job Building Fund to help schools purchase cutting-edge equipment needed for high-demand career and technical education programs, training students for high-growth industries throughout the state in an era of rapidly increasing enrollment,” Combs said. “With the Launchpad Funds, priority was given to organizations whose students are expected to graduate and find jobs paying salaries equal to or greater than the prevailing wage for high-demand occupations in the region.”

The chart below shows the recipient schools and organizations, their location, project, grant type and award amount.
Recipient Location Project Grant Type Award
Blinn College Brenham Nursing (Advanced Simulation Equipment) Equipment $350,000
Brazosport College Lake Jackson Welding Simulation Trainers Equipment $215,760
Coastal Bend College Beeville Aviation Maintenance Program Equipment $149,700
Collin College McKinney Photovoltaic Solar Energy Training Equipment $124,490
Hill College Hillsboro Welding Program Expansion Equipment $204,900
Houston Community College Houston Equipment for Solar, Thermal and Wind Certificate Programs Equipment $338,300
Lamar Institute of Technology Beaumont Equipment Upgrades for Advanced Arc Welding Programs Equipment $62,500
Lamar State College Port Arthur Simulated Medical Dispensing Systems Equipment $56,985
Lee College Baytown Equipment for Industrial Systems Mechanics Equipment $166,286
Navarro Community College Corsicana Industrial Welding Certification Program Equipment Equipment $243,808
North Central Texas College Gainesville Simulated Hospital System Equipment $177,130
Ranger College Ranger Wind Energy Technician Program Equipment Equipment $202,182
San Jacinto College District Pasadena Newborn Baby Simulation System Equipment $294,005
South Plains College Levelland Hybrid Automotive Technology Equipment $210,222
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth Neonatal Simulators Equipment $276,494
Texas State Technical College Waco Supercomputer purchase Equipment $126,550
Weatherford College Weatherford Patient Simulators & Virtual IV Systems for EMS Training Equipment $313,656
Alamo CC District Foundation San Antonio Distance Learning Initiative (LVN to RN) Nonprofit $61,754
Brazosport College Foundation Gulf Coast Multiple Programs Nonprofit $170,950
Capital Idea Rural Capital Multiple Programs Nonprofit $225,000
Northeast Texas CC Foundation Northeast Texas Multiple Programs Nonprofit $255,000
Project Quest San Antonio Multiple Programs Nonprofit $180,000
Project Quest Dallas Multiple Programs Nonprofit $396,000
Project Quest South Plains Multiple Programs Nonprofit $404,000
South Texas College McAllen Computer and Info Sciences Nonprofit $500,000
Tarrant County College Foundation Fort Worth CNC Machinists Nonprofit $441,660
Western Texas College Foundation Snyder Multiple Programs Nonprofit $227,500

Combs previously announced the first 13 recipients of $2.26 million of Job Building Fund grants in December 2009. In October 2009, the Comptroller awarded $3.5 million in the first round of Launchpad Funds to nine nonprofit organizations.

Texas public community colleges or technical institutes that receive Job Building Fund grants must provide matching funds in the form of cash, equipment, materials, supplies and/or personnel costs. The Comptroller’s office selected grant recipients based on each project’s potential economic return to the state and on endeavors that involve dual-credit programs with local high schools or cooperative arrangements with other colleges. Priority was given to projects that target high-demand occupations and new or emerging industries.

Launchpad Funds support Texas nonprofit organizations with programs that prepare low-income students for careers in high-demand technical occupations, such as welding, computer support, engineering technology, nursing and allied health professions. These organizations are governed by boards that include community and business leaders and assist low-income students preparing to attend public community colleges or technical schools. Nonprofit organizations receiving Launchpad Funds must be community-based 501(c)(3) organizations that provide matching funding and can demonstrate that they have achieved or will achieve success, with priority given to those with programs for veterans or partnerships with community colleges, business organizations or economic development organizations.

The money administered by the Comptroller comes from components of the Every Chance Funds, which include three categories of grants and scholarships over the biennium for career and technical education. In addition to the $10 million Job Building Fund and the $10 million Launchpad Fund, a $5 million Career and Technical Scholarship Fund allocates money for approved training programs for high‐demand occupations.

In December 2008, Combs released Texas Works, a report detailing the widening gap between the skills required in today’s job market and the number of graduates trained with those skills coming out of our education system. The report called for the state to establish a $25 million education fund to support career technical education, which the 81st Legislature created.

For more information about the funds, visit www.everychanceeverytexan.org/funds. The Texas Works report is available on the Comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/workforce.

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