House Representative

Parker, Tan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/19/2021

TEXAS RESKILLING & UPSKILLING THROUGH EDUCATION (TRUE) INITIATIVE FUNDED IN SENATE BILL 8

Austin, TX – Today, the Conference Committee Report on SB8, concerning the appropriations of federal COVID relief funding, was approved with a $15,000,000 appropriation for the Texas Reskilling & Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Initiative offered as a House floor amendment by State Representative Tan Parker.

The TRUE Initiative is an investment in Texas’ future by providing community colleges and technical institutions the ability to quickly reskill and upskill the Texas workforce and put Texans back to work in high-demand occupations. Of the record number of Texans who lost their jobs and filed initial claims for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many lack skills to quickly reenter the workforce. The unemployment rate for individuals with a high school diploma or less remains significantly higher than for individuals with post-secondary credentials. As the current provider of more than 90% of credit-bearing career and technical education certificates, Texas community colleges are best positioned to close the skills gaps to good-paying jobs.

“Texas is a leading state for population growth, and our diverse economy requires a robust and prepared workforce to continue attracting investment and economic vitality. Additionally, with current worker shortages, the TRUE initiative will continue to provide an edge to students seeking in-demand careers and help fulfill industry needs for a 21st century workforce,” noted Representative Parker.

Texas community colleges provide over 92% of workforce credentials in Texas and remain best positioned to ensure that both unemployed and incumbent workers are armed with the skills and credentials needed to effectively fill and succeed in high demand jobs.

"This $15 million investment will ensure that Texas higher education students of any age have access to a robust postsecondary education", added Representative Parker.