Employee Skills Training

Upskilling is assisting incumbent workers in acquiring skills to advance into middle-skill jobs, particularly those in high demand for their employers.


Employee Skills Training

Employee Skills Training - Upskilling

Check out our toolkit to learn abut upskilling. Download your free copy (pdf).

Upskilling is assisting incumbent workers in acquiring skills to advance into middle-skill jobs, particularly those in high demand for their employers.

Upskilling looks like:

  • providing your employees with tuition assistance
  • offering onsite training to build their skill sets and their value to your company
  • sponsoring an apprenticeship that allows employees to earn while they learn and skill up for your high-demand roles.

Click on the tabs to learn about additional resources for employee skills training.

Questions? Contact us at upskilling@wfscapitalarea.com.

Incumbent Worker Training

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) provides funding assistance to qualifying employers to provide skills training to current full-time, permanent employees.

Training can include, but is not limited to, industry or employer-specific work skills, basic job skills, technical computer skills, new manufacturing technologies, equipment operation training, and changes in production processes. You determine and select the types of training and training provider(s) that meet your business and training requirements before submitting an application for consideration.

How do employers qualify?

You must have a physical presence in Travis County. You must also demonstrate that the training will accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Create new jobs within your company
  • Create openings in entry-level positions
  • Save jobs within your company
  • Lower employee turnover at your company and retain jobs, as a result
  • Promote employees within your company
  • Enable your employees to receive certifications or credentials
  • Improve the short-term or long-term wage levels of trainees
  • Critical to the long-term viability of your company
  • Important component of your company’s overall workforce employee development efforts

What is the employer’s “match”?

You must identify your share (non-federal match) to the training program in your IWT application. Your match is dependent on the size of your business and shall not be less than:

  • 10 percent of the cost, for employers with not more than 50 employees;
  • 25 percent of the cost, for employers with more than 50 employees but not more than 100 employees; and
  • 50 percent of the cost, for employers with more than 100 employees.

The employer match may include the amount of the wages paid by the employer while the worker is attending training. The employer may provide the share in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated.

What costs may be reimbursed under IWT?

Examples of allowable costs include:

  • Training materials and supplies including manuals
  • Training tuition or registration
  • Instructor/trainer wages (if not included in tuition)
  • Materials and supplies
  • Certification/testing
  • Off-site training space (such as a classroom rental)

On-the-Job Training

To help employers get the skilled workers they need, WFS Capital Area can fund on-the-job training for eligible individuals. The new hires will learn job skills while working full-time.

Pending eligibility, we can reimburse the employer for up to 50 percent of the new hire’s salary for up to three months. Interested employers must commit to hiring and retaining the individuals who successfully complete their training programs.

For more information, please contact Business Solutions.

Skills Development Fund

The Skills Development Fund (SDF) assists employers by financing the design and implementation of customized job training projects. The SDF successfully merges business needs and local customized training opportunities into a winning formula to increase the skills levels and wages of the Texas workforce.

More information on the Skills Development Fund

To Apply For An SDF Grant:

To apply for an SDF grant, administered by the Texas Workforce Commission, a private business, consortium of businesses or trade union must identify a training need and partner with a public community or technical college or the Texas Engineering Extension Service to address those specific needs. College partners work with businesses to submit proposals, develop curricula and conduct training. The SDF grant pays for the training, the college administers the grant, and businesses create new jobs and improve the skills of their current workers.

Eligible Travis County grant recipients must coordinate with the Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board in the development and design of the customized training project.  Applicants are required to have their local Workforce Board review and comment on proposals prior to submission.

If you are interested in applying for a Skills Development Fund in the Capital Area and would like more information, please contact Amber Warne at amber.warne@wfscapitalarea.com or 512.597.7142.

Skills for Small Business

As a part of the Skills Development Fund, the Skills for Small Business Program assists employers with less than 100 employees by financing training for full-time employees. Training through the Skills for Small Business program increases business competitiveness, upgrades the skill of current employees and prepares newly hired employees for job requirements.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills for Small Business Program

Through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills for Small Business Program, up to $2 million from the Skills Development Fund is dedicated to the backbone of Texas’s business community – our small employers. Small businesses can apply directly to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). TWC processes the applications and works with the college to fund the specific courses selected by businesses for their employees.

This exceptional opportunity is in conjunction with the Governor’s Small Business Forums. It supports businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and emphasizes training for new workers. It has the additional ability to upgrade the skills of incumbent works.

About the Program
  • Emphasizes training newly hired employees – those who have been hired by the business up to three months prior to the date that TWC receives an application.
  • The program pays up to $1,450 for each new employee being trained and $725 for existing employees per 12-month period.
  • Funding for training is for full-time employees.
  • All training must be provided by a public community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). No third-party vendor training is allowed.
  • Training must be selected from active course catalogs/schedules – credit, continuing education, on-line or other available unpublished courses.
  • May also emphasize training in occupations targeted by Local Workforce Development Boards.
  • Employers must pay the prevailing wages in the local labor market for the trainees funded under the grant.
Application Process for Businesses
  • Identify new or incumbent employees to be trained.
  • Identify each employee’s job/occupation title and corresponding Standard Occupational Classification Code (SOC).
  • SOC codes can be found at http://stats.bls.gov/soc/home.htm
  • Identify employee’s wages. Wages must meet prevailing wage for the area where the business is located.
  • Identify the 2-year Public Community or Technical College nearest the business’ location.
  • Select training course(s) from the regular credit, continuing education and/or on-line course catalogs (PDF).
  • Determine the business’ targeted occupation(s). Skills for Small Business emphasizes training in occupations targeted by the local workforce board.
  • Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s list of Targeted Occupations can be found here.
  • Complete and submit application directly to TWC. E-mail application to SkillsForSmallBusiness@twc.state.tx.us or fax to (512) 463-7187.

For assistance, contact TWC Workforce Business Services staff at (877) 463-1777 or e-mail TWC Workforce Business Services.

Self-Sufficiency Fund

The Self-Sufficiency Fund Program assists businesses and trade unions by financing the development and implementation of customized job training projects for new and current workers. Self-Sufficiency Fund grants deliver businesses customized training solutions that support workforce hiring efforts and skills upgrading for current workers.

The goal of the Self-Sufficiency Fund is to assist recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), or a parent, including a noncustodial parent whose annual wages are at or below $37,000 to obtain training, get jobs, and become independent of government financial assistance.

More information on the Self-Sufficiency Fund Program

Becoming a Partner

To be considered for a grant, the private business, business consortium or trade union must:

  • Partner with an eligible grant applicant, which is a public community or technical college, state extension service, or a private, nonprofit community-based organization that is certified as a 501(c)(3).
  • Be actively involved in the planning and design of the customized training project.
  • Sign an agreement with the grant applicant outlining each entity’s roles and responsibilities in the training project, including reporting requirements related to trainee participation.
  • Provide equal employment opportunity documentation as well as information on the occupations for training, employment benefits, wages and social security numbers for trainees.
  • Use WorkinTexas.com to post openings for new workers trained under the project.
Grant Award Information

Self-Sufficiency Fund grants for projects serving a single business may be limited to $500,000. Tuition, curriculum development, instructor fees and training materials can be included in the grant. Support services such as transportation, childcare, and other work-related expenses for training participants are also eligible costs. Grants are typically 12 months in duration.

Quality Proposals

Quality training projects will align with legislative direction and match business needs with innovative training solutions. Collaboration between businesses, Local Workforce Development Boards, and training partners is required. Criteria considered in making funding recommendations include:

  • A commitment to help increase the skills levels and wages of trainees.
  • The provision of employment benefits, including medical insurance, for trainees.
  • The level of contributions from other resources that are committed to the project, including those from the private partners.
  • Positive economic impact on the local region.
  • The applicant’s current and past performance on Self-Sufficiency Fund grants.
  • Equitable geographic distribution of funds.
  • Cost per trainee in comparison to the state average.

For more information on the Self-Sufficiency Fund, including the Proposal Submission Packet and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s Self Sufficiency Fund – Program Overview page. 

For further assistance, email customized training solutions or call 512.463.8844.

Subsidized Employment / Work Experience

WFS Capital Area’s Subsidized Employment program can reimburse your company 50% or more on straight-time wages for 8 weeks. The employment may be part-time, less than 30 hours per week or full-time, up to 40 hours per week.

How to apply and participate:

  • Contact Business Solutions
  • Complete a simple employer agreement
  • Hire eligible candidates in the Subsidized Employment program
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