Governor Abbott Announces $1 Million in Texas Talent Connection Grants | Oficina del Gobernador de Texas

January 18, 2022 | Austin, TX | Press release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced $1 million in Texas Talent Connection grants supporting a two-year pilot program connecting young adoptees and victims of sex trafficking, ages 16 to 25, with education programs and services. labor force to help them find and maintain employment leading to independence and self-sufficiency.

“Every Texan deserves the opportunity to live a life worthy of their potential,” Governor Abbott said. “Young people in care and young adults who have been victims of sex trafficking are particularly vulnerable and often need support to overcome the obstacles in their path. The First Lady and I thank local Workforce Development Councils and employers across Texas for joining us in helping these young Texans on the path to self-sufficiency, career success, and life. a life of opportunity.

The Texas Workforce Investment Council and the Child Sex Trafficking team, both within the Governor’s Office, have identified the need to provide labor services to encourage youth and young adult victims of sex trafficking to support their education and progress in the labor market and help deter repeat victimization.

The Texas Employment Empowerment Model for Disenfranchised Youth and Young Adults pilot project addresses this need. The model brings together local Workforce Development Councils with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Youth Transition Centers and advocates for commercially sexually exploited youth to develop a process tailored, led by a training and employment navigator, to help foster youth and young adult victims. sex traffickers find a path to independence and self-sufficiency. Navigators, workforce center staff and employers will be trained to work with vulnerable people as the basis of the pilot project.

Four local Workforce Development Councils and foster youth transition centers are participating in the two-year pilot program:

  • Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas and CitySquare of Dallas Foster Youth Transition Center
  • Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast and Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults / HAYS Center Foster Youth Transition Center
  • Workforce Solutions Alamo and BCFS Health and Human Services Transition Center/San Antonio Foster Youth Transition Center
  • Workforce Solutions North Central Texas and CitySquare of Fort Worth Foster Youth Transition Center

A training and employment navigator will guide each individual through workforce center services, such as career preparation and coaching, referrals, training and support services, and employee relations. ‘use. The navigator will serve as a single point of contact for the participant, providing specialized intake and assessment to identify beneficial programs and services. The navigator will also coordinate with Texas employers who agree to hire and support program participants. Feedback from program participants and training and employment navigators will help further develop this model of Texas employment empowerment for disenfranchised youth and young adults.

About the Texas Workforce Investment Council: The Texas Workforce Investment Council assists the Governor and Legislature in strategic planning and evaluation of the Texas workforce system to promote the development of a strong workforce well trained and highly qualified for Texas. Council members represent workforce system partners and stakeholders, including business and industry, labor, education, and community organizations, as well as the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating. Advice. The Texas Talent Connection Governor Abbott Grants are Wagner-Peyser 7(b) grant funds awarded to the Governor’s Office by the U.S. Department of Labor to encourage innovation in workforce training and placement services. Learn more about the Texas Talent Connection grant program at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/twic/wagner_peyser_7b_program.

About the Child Sex Trafficking Team: The Governor’s Office of Public Safety’s Child Sex Trafficking Team helps communities across Texas protect children and youth from the sexual exploitation by: helping the public to recognize sexual exploitation in all its forms; recover victims with protective and empowering collaborative responses; supporting the healing of survivors through a variety of trauma-informed and responsive services and supports; and bring justice to survivors by holding exploiters accountable.

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