Higher education board awards $18.1 million in reskilling grants

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded $18.1 million to Texas higher education institutions as part of the first round of awards under the Texas Reskilling Support Fund Grant Program. 
Odessa College was awarded $1.5 million.
Through a competitive process, 40 applicants representing 49 institutions were selected for the awards, a news release said.
Reskilling grants will allow Texas public colleges, technical schools, and universities to provide financial assistance to Texas students to cover tuition and fees. The grants are designed to support displaced Texas workers who need to reskill or upskill to get back into the workforce, and to support students who have previously stopped out of higher education complete a postsecondary credential. The program is supported by a portion of the $175 million allocation to the THECB from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
To further its commitment to workforce education, the Coordinating Board welcomed Tina Marie Jackson as its new assistant commissioner of workforce education. The release said Jackson will work on all aspects of career and technical workforce initiatives and programs, including administration of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Dr. Jackson’s previous roles include district director of developmental education at Collin College, statewide coordinator of community college programs at The University of Texas at Austin, and associate dean of science, technology, engineering, & math (STEM) at Dallas College.
Jackson will oversee the THECB reskilling initiative as the agency launches its second-round request for applications for the grant program. Applications opened Friday and are due by Jan. 15, 2021. Texas public community colleges and universities are encouraged to apply, and institutions that received funding through the first round of grant funding are eligible to apply for round two funding.