$650,000 grant will help displaced workers return to school

Daily Light report

As part of the Texas Reskilling Support Fund Grant Program, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded $650,000 to the University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) and Navarro College.

Through this program, the two institutions are partnering to deliver educational programming to displaced workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who need to upskill or reskill to get back into the workforce.

The pandemic recently made a one-year anniversary in March of its effect in North Texas. 

According to a news release, The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) awarded $9.3 million to Texas higher education institutions in the second round of awards. Through a competitive process, 25 applicants representing 31 institutions and serving 6,100 students were selected.

Reskilling grants allow Texas public colleges, technical schools, and universities to provide last-dollar financial assistance to Texas students to cover tuition and fees.

In addition, the program is supported by a portion of the $175 million allocation to the THECB from the Governor’s Emergency Educational Relief (GEER) Fund.

“The Governor and THECB Commissioner have provided a valuable opportunity for our state’s future employees to return to school, especially those students who stopped out due to financial reasons. We are excited to be selected and we have a strong relationship with Navarro College and value them as a partner,” said Lisa Hobson, Ph.D., Professor and Interim Dean of Education.”

Dr. Carol Hanes, Navarro College Vice President of Academic Affairs said, “Navarro College is very excited about the opportunity to work with UNTD to provide financial assistance for students to return to school and earn credentials that will equip them to earn a living wage.”

The two institutions will focus on key areas of study that lead to high-paying jobs.

In order to participate, students must be within 12 months of completing their degree and cannot have been enrolled at any accredited postsecondary institution in the prior full academic semester or previous six months.

Students pursuing associate degrees will be supported by Navarro College, and those pursuing bachelor’s degrees will be supported by UNT Dallas.

“Texas has tens of thousands of good jobs that are being created across the state, and at the same time we have many displaced workers who are still unemployed. It’s important to help Texans reskill and upskill so they can get back on their feet, get back into the economy, and drive the state’s economic recovery,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “Thanks to the strong support of Governor Abbott and our Texas legislative leadership, the strategic investment to date of more than $27.4 million enables our Texas institutions to expand access to programs that equip students to enter the workforce with the credentials and education tomorrow’s economy will demand."

Those interested can review information about UNT degree and certificate programs on the university website: untdallas.edu/academic-programs. Questions about enrolling at UNT Dallas should be directed to admissions@untdallas.edu.

Information about degree and certificate programs at Navarro College can be found on the college website at: majors.navarrocollege.edu. Questions about enrolling at Navarro College should be directed to admissions@navarrocollege.edu.