Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Texas Workforce Commission Grants $2.5 Million to STEM Programs

    The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has recently awarded $2.5 million in grants to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs across the state. This is the largest amount of funding the TWC has distributed, according to Albert Trevino III, Commissioner Representing Labor for the TWC.

    One of the recipients of the grant is the FIRST in Texas program, which focuses on robotics competitions for pre-kindergarten through high school students. They received $700,000 as part of the grant, marking the eighth year they have been awarded funding from the TWC. Jason Arms, Executive Director of FIRST in Texas, highlighted the importance of this funding in creating a level playing field for underserved teams in the robotics program.

    The TWC recognizes the growing importance of STEM industries in the state’s economy, estimating that over 200,000 new jobs in Texas will be in STEM fields in the next ten years. Arms expressed pride in the fact that many students who go through FIRST in Texas programs are well-prepared for industry or further education.

    With the funding they receive from the TWC, FIRST in Texas is able to support over 30,000 students by supplementing travel expenses and competition fees. The grant also allows them to provide financial assistance to school districts and teams interested in starting robotics programs.

    The impact of these programs is particularly valuable in rural or underserved communities, where many of the students they serve come from. In addition to teaching robotics, FIRST in Texas also emphasizes budgeting and presentation skills, essential for success in the workforce. By the time students compete in the state and World Championships, they are well-rounded individuals ready to enter the job market.

    This grant from the TWC not only benefits the students by providing access to high-demand STEM education, but it also ensures a strong pool of talent for employers, contributing to the robust Texas economy.