Huntsville, TX— On Wednesday, December 28, 2022, Governor Greg Abbott announced that Windham School District, a statewide district that operates schools in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, received a combined $845,699 across three Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grants from the Texas Workforce Commission. These grant funds will support the purchase of equipment required to broaden the three high-demand career and technical education (CTE) programs available through Windham: Heavy Equipment Operating, Truck Driving and Production Technician.
“Windham School District is honored to receive the JET grants, which will strengthen our CTE programs, and assist our students cultivate skills in career pathways that will provide support to Texas employers and communities,” Windham School District Superintendent Kristina J. Hartman said.
Through funding provided by the Texas Legislature and approved by the Governor each biennium, TWC uses JET grants as an opportunity to liquidate startup costs of developing career and technical education programs for public community, state and technical colleges, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. It is a requirement that equipment funded through JET grants be used to train students for jobs in high-demand occupations and industries. In December 2022, it was announced that over $54 million was awarded by TWC across 152 JET grants. Windham currently offers more than 40 CTE programs that equip students to be competitive in a variety of high-demand job markets. The district also provides training in 11 career clusters that give students the opportunity to earn industry-based certifications. Through the application of JET grant funds, the Heavy Equipment Operating, Truck Driving and Production Technician programs will be implemented at the Garza West campus in Beeville, the Roach campus in Childress, and the Dominguez campus in San Antonio, respectively.
“Windham CTE program updates are determined through consistent monitoring of industry needs to ensure that students have access to programs that are in high-demand in the Texas labor market. By receiving the JET grant funds, the district is able to expand and enhance our programs to meet workforce needs and prepare our students for success,” said Windham CTE Administrator Ted Watts.
Of the three JET grants awarded to Windham, the first grant totals $278,854, which is dedicated to help purchase and install equipment, and provide training for students to become heavy equipment operators. The district estimates serving 60 students in the Heavy Equipment Operating program per year with the assistance of this grant. The second grant consists of $265,810, committed to helping obtain equipment to provide training to prepare students to receive their commercial driver’s license. The annual projection shows that the district will serve approximately 90 truck driving students within a year of implementation. The third grant of $301,035 will be used to purchase and install equipment to support training for students to become certified production technicians in the manufacturing industry with a projected enrollment of 160 students per year. With the assistance of these JET grants, Windham expects to serve an estimated 310 students annually.
The award of JET grant funds has provided Windham an open door to increase productive career pathways for students in the corrections setting. The district anticipates the intended outcome of highly-skilled, qualified graduates prepared to enter the Texas workforce following program completion with support of the JET grants.
For more information on the JET Program, as well as the JET Advisory Board, visit the JET homepage or email email@example.com.
ABOUT WINDHAM SCHOOL DISTRICT
Windham School District (WSD) provides academic, Career and Technical Education, and life skills programs to eligible individuals within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). We serve a unique population of incarcerated individuals who were unable to complete their basic education in the past and others who need technical training and soft skills to better equip them for the future. With 85 campuses located in TDCJ facilities across Texas, WSD strives to prepare students with the necessary education and skills to successfully reenter the workforce within their communities.