Train your workforce through the Skills for Small Business program

Three employees from The Woodlands Young Learners Academy learning Microsoft Outlook 2013.
Employees from The Woodlands Young Learners Academy train on Microsoft Outlook 2013 at the Lone Star College-Montgomery campus. This instruction is being provided at no cost through a partnership between Lone Star College and the Texas Workforce Commission’s Skills for Small Business Program. Photo courtesy: Lone Star College

The cost of training employees can be reduced for small business employers who take advantage of the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) Skills for Small Business program.  Small businesses in Texas may be eligible for free or reduced cost training at local community colleges for relevant skills training offered by participating schools.

TWC has announced the availability of $2 million in job-training funding from the Texas Legislature for the Skills for Small Business program. The Skills for Small Business program provides businesses with fewer than 100 employees, training dollars to meet their business needs.

Lone Star College, in the Greater Houston area, is one of many community colleges in Texas partnering with small businesses to address custom training needs.

Pat Chandler, interim director for continuing education, says the Skills for Small Business program is a win-win.

“This is a fantastic program with very little ‘red tape’ involved,” said Chandler. “Many companies use these funds for their training budget each year.”

Chandler says many small businesses come to her looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of their employees through supervisory, interpersonal or computer skills classes.

Once a qualifying small business identifies a training need, courses may be selected based on classes offered at area public community and technical colleges. New employees may be eligible for up to $1,450 in training and existing workers up to $725.

Since the program’s inception in 2010, the Skills for Small Business grants have awarded $5.7 million to meet training needs at small businesses.

Small businesses are encouraged to apply directly to TWC for training approval. Employers seeking more information about the Skills for Small Business program, including applications and information about how to apply may visit the TWC website at www.texasworkforce.org/ssb.