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Through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills for Small Business program, up to $2 million from the Skills Development Fund is dedicated to the backbone of Texas' business community — our small employers. Small businesses can apply to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). TWC processes the applications and works with the college to fund the specific courses selected by the business for their employees.

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How Skills for Small Business Works

The Skills for Small Business program supports businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and emphasizes training for new workers. It also may help upgrade the skills of incumbent workers.

  • Skills for Small Business emphasizes training new employees who have been hired by the business up to twelve months prior to the date that TWC receives an application.
  • The program pays up to $1,800 for the training of each new employee and $900 for existing employees during a 12-month period.
  • Funding for training is for full-time, permanent employees.
  • All training must be provided by the grant recipients, which includes a public community or technical college or TEEX. No third-party vendor training is allowed.
  • Training must be selected from active course catalogs/schedules — credit, continuing education, online, or other available unpublished courses.
  • The program also may emphasize training in occupations targeted by Workforce Development Boards.
  • Employers must pay the prevailing wages in the local labor market to the trainees funded under the grant.
  • Grants provide funds for tuition and fees, which are dispersed directly to the college.

As the Skills for Small Business training providers, college partners gain an enhanced ability to respond to the evolving needs of industry. Businesses gain a more highly trained workforce, workers upgrade their skills, and the Texas economy strengthens as a whole.

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How TWC Helps

TWC’s Office of Employer Initiatives provides technical assistance at no charge for Skills for Small Business applications. Business Outreach and Project Development Consultants work directly with colleges and business partners in the development of applications to ensure employers get the specific courses their workers require.

Businesses apply directly to TWC. We evaluate the applications and work with local colleges to fund the requested courses.

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Governor's Small Business Forums

The Office of the Governor and TWC present Governor's Small Business Forums statewide throughout the year. The forums inform the Texas small business community and entrepreneurs of challenges in starting, operating, and growing a business, while highlighting the many opportunities, tools, and resources available.

At the forums, TWC provides employers not only with information about the Skills for Small Business program, but also immediate access to the program's team of experts and contact information for their local college, Business Outreach and Project Development Consultants and local workforce board leaders. Interested businesses work with a TWC project consultant to complete applications during the forum.

The Governor's Small Business Forums also showcase workforce board services, such as recruiting and hiring assistance, business development strategies, business tax credit information, and labor market information.

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Local Partnerships

Workforce Development Boards, chambers of commerce, and economic development partners facilitate partnerships with businesses by identifying small businesses that are hiring new workers and those with training needs.

To ensure that projects are aligned with local economic development goals, Workforce Development Boards and economic development partners can provide applicants with data on labor market statistics and local industry trends.

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