TWC Expands Initiative to End the Middle Skills Gap, Allocates $4 Million to State Level Apprenticeship Programs

Date: February 17, 2022

Media Contact: Cisco Gamez
Phone: 512-463-8556

AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) this week announced $4 million in funding will be dedicated to supporting apprenticeships in middle skills careers, defined as occupations that require some education beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. From production machinists and plumbers to mechanics and more, skilled trade workers are in high demand across the state, and these funds will create programs that put our state’s workforce on a faster path to a high-wage, high-demand career.

“Eliminating the middle skills gap in Texas is critical to continuing to grow our Texas economy and the registered apprenticeship model is one of the best solutions to get our workforce trained and upskilled quickly,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “These programs will be the first non-competitive apprenticeship programs managed at the state level, opening the door to funding for employers with multiple locations across Texas.”

As the Texas economy continues to grow, employment demand has dramatically increased for individuals in middle-skills occupations. Through this new middle skills apprenticeship initiative, TWC will support the creation or expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in key industry areas identified as in especially high demand, including automotive service technicians and mechanics; production machinists, assemblers, and fabricators; and logistics management and supply chain analysts.

“Registered apprenticeship is a winning solution for the Texas workforce and employers alike,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “This earn-while-you-learn model allows our workforce to get the skills needed for a successful, high-demand career while earning a living wage in the process.”

To support employers through this initiative, TWC’s Office of Apprenticeship will award funds to help employers secure Department of Labor (DOL) registration and defray costs related to curricula development; related instruction or training for apprentices (in-person, online, or hybrid); training supplies for apprentices; and instructor costs or mentor activities. This initiative will specifically benefit those employers with locations in multiple areas of the state.

“The apprenticeship model can be a valuable tool for Texas employers to create flexible and customizable training options that will prepare their future workforce with the proper skills,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “This funding helps Texas employers create an additional talent pipeline to meet the needs of their growing businesses.”  

The TWC Office of Apprenticeship staff will oversee the award of non-competitive incentives from the state agency level in the coming months. For more information on this middle skills initiative, visit twc.texas.gov or email ApprenticeshipTexas@twc.texas.gov.

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The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

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