Congressman Rubén Hinojosa announced today the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Workforce Solutions (McAllen) and Cameron Works, along with other border programs, $5,999,998 through the Workforce Innovation Fund grants to develop and expand innovative strategies to help Americans return to work.
Congressman Hinojosa serves as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and led the fight for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in efforts to help train and prepare Texans to enter the workforce.
"This is an incredible and much needed investment into our communities that will serve our residents, and our local and state economy well currently and in the future," said Congressman Hinojosa. "I congratulate my friend and CEO of Workforce Solutions Bonnie Gonzalez for her steadfast support and dedication to seeing this grant through from beginning to end. We are united in bringing better opportunities to our residents along the Texas border."
A total of $146.9 million in Workforce Innovation Fund grants was awarded to only 26 communities across the nation. The Growing Regional Opportunity for the Workforce (GROW) grant, under the Workforce Innovation Fund, was awarded to a consortium of five Workforce Investment Boards (WIB's) through the Border Workforce Alliance (BWA). The Texas Counties receiving the funding are: Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, Starr, Jim Hogg, Zapata, Dimmit, Edwards, LaSalle, Maverick, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Zavala, Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Webb, Kinney and Presidio.
"This is wonderful news, not just for the communities we serve but the entire state of Texas. With these funds, Project GROW will serve specific populations that face many of the same barriers and provide them with the necessary resources and tools to succeed in the workforce," said Yvonne 'Bonnie' Gonzalez, CEO of Workforce Solutions. "I would be remiss if I did not mention our many partners that helped make this possible, including our congressional offices, and workforce development boards that represent the BWA, along the Texas/Mexico border spanning from El Paso to Brownsville, TX; Jobs for the Future; and business and community partners."
The GROW program is designed to improve and streamline case management and supportive services offered to participants and to comprehensively link education and training programs to real employer workforce needs in the region.
"We aim to develop and expand innovative strategies to help our residents return to work by delivering services more efficiently and focusing on partnerships with specific employers or industry sectors," said Congressman Hinojosa. "We want our residents to upgrade their skills so as to be prepared to take on high skilled jobs. I believe this grant award will help so many of our residents access good jobs and careers."