Alamo Colleges District to Train 1,200 Underserved Youth for In-Demand Jobs

August 26, 2020

600x350 Workforce Grant.jpg

The Alamo Colleges District will be preparing young adults to enter high-demand industries in the region through a Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The district is the only awardee in Texas. The program will disburse $4.47 million to expand and establish new pre-apprenticeship training and Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) for individuals ages 17-24. The program will take place primarily at Palo Alto College and will serve 1,200 underserved youth including students in the AlamoPROMISE program and foster youth aging out of foster care in the district’s eight-county service area. The program is scheduled to launch in mid-fall 2020.

The Alamo Colleges District is one of 14 organizations awarded a Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), which awarded a total of $42,296,247. Grant partners include Cox Manufacturing, BB&T Bank, Workforce Solutions Alamo, San Antonio Works, Educate Texas and the Bexar County Children’s Court.

“This grant reflects the Alamo Colleges’ first-rate track record in workforce training,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. “The program it funds will make it possible for 1,200 more of our underserved youth to have the opportunity to prepare for in-demand careers that will lead to social and economic mobility,” he added.

“SA Works is proud to support this effort by leading employer engagement in the program to provide apprenticeship opportunities for students in target industries like manufacturing and financial services. Being awarded this grant after a highly competitive national process is a vote of confidence in the work we are collectively doing to prepare San Antonio youth for careers that provide economic mobility,” said Romanita Matta-Barrera, SA Works executive director.

The grant will:

  • Develop and deploy quality pre-apprenticeship training as a pathway for youth to RAP enrollmentto include career camps and exploration, leadership skills development and general career and workplace readiness skills.
  • Develop, with employer partners, new RAPs in financial services and advanced manufacturing
  • Increase awareness of and enrollment in existing RAP(s)
  • Provide wraparound services to improve retention and completion rates of pre-apprenticeship and RAP enrollees
  • Inform and encourage knowledge of participation in RAPs in employer and educator communities

Those who complete the program will be awarded:

  • Pre-apprenticeship industry-recognized competency credential(s)
  • Workplace skills and experiential learning opportunities
  • Advanced manufacturing and financial services RAP credentials (stackable, from Palo Alto College)
  • Professional machine technician RAP credential
  • Other RAP credentials in traditional occupational areas, IT/cybersecurity and health careers that exist or are under development

Students who complete the program may be offered positions with the employers where they train, and will gain work-based experience which will make them more employable in the targeted industries.