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Gov. Perry Calls for Additonal Job Training Funds for Rio Grande Valley

Location: Austin, TX

Gov. Perry Calls for Additional Job Training Funds for Rio Grande Valley

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today announced that he will ask the Texas Legislature to provide an additional $25 million for the skills development fund, doubling the amount of money available for job training across Texas.

Speaking at the Texas Border Infrastructure Coalition (TBIC) annual meeting, Perry also announced that Texas State Technical College in Harlingen will soon be getting nearly $1 million in additional grants for job training.

"I have heard your concerns expressed about workforce training in this state, and taken them to heart," Perry said.

The Texas Workforce Commission, at Perry's request, is providing $500,000 from the skills development fund.

This grant will be used to custom train workers for 96 new jobs and 354 existing jobs, serving 15 small and medium-sized employers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Upon completion of this training, workers will be making more than $11.50 per hour.

Perry also directed that $482,000 in discretionary funds from the Workforce Investment Act be provided to TSTC in Harlingen to develop an advanced manufacturing and integrated systems technology training and employment program.

"These funds, which will soon be matched by the Department of Labor, will allow TSTC to train workers for state-of-the-art manufacturing jobs," Perry said. "Job training is a critical component to economic revival, especially in areas of our state with higher rates of unemployment. You have my commitment to increasing funding for job training so that we can expand opportunity for our people."

Perry praised members of the TBIC for their work on legislative issues and said they must continue to work together to bring more jobs and opportunity for border residents.

"Good jobs can lift working families out of poverty, renew their hope in the American Dream, and expand the horizons of opportunity for their children," Perry said. "There are a number of key components to attracting quality jobs: a good education system, a skilled workforce, and a tax and regulatory climate that welcomes entrepreneurs instead of turning them away."

Earlier this week the governor announced he will ask the Texas Legislature to reauthorize $300 million for the Texas Enterprise Fund.

"Since we created the Enterprise Fund 18 months ago, it has helped Texas close deals with employers that will create more than 22,000 new jobs and pump $6 billion into our economy," Perry said. "Just yesterday, in fact, we announced the largest job creation project in the United States for the past four years - an expansion by Countrywide Financial that will bring 7,500 new jobs to Texas by 2011."

"I want the border to share more directly in the Enterprise Fund's success in creating jobs," Perry said, adding that if border leaders "keep bringing us viable prospects, we'll do everything we can to close the deal."

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