Nearly $100K in funding going toward helping veterans land jobs

The Texas Workforce Commission is awarding Skillpoint Alliance about $100,000 to support its "Veteran Workforce Outreach Initiative." The program will be used to help veterans receive training and, ultimately, careers in the electrical, HVAC, manufacturing and plumbing fields.

"You're going to spend four (to six) weeks with us every single day, and there are some really high expectations that we have of you to complete the program. And we feel like once you have finished our program, you're ready to go to work," said Kevin Brackmeyer, CEO of Skillpoint Alliance.

The initiative will focus specifically on veterans who are homeless or formerly justice-impacted. Skillpoint Alliance is partnering with Helpers of Change, an Austin nonprofit, to help them outreach to 50 potential students, with the goal of training at least 20.

Some of the TWC funding will cover housing, transportation and other costs for those who ultimately join a program. 

"Our goal is to raise the individual from where they currently are and to get them into a career that is life-changing and that has this tremendous upward mobility trajectory," said Brackmeyer.

Skillpoint Alliance currently offers the following training programs: Pre-Apprentice Electrical, Pre-Apprentice Plumbing, HVAC Technician and Manufacturing Technician.

Each program ranges from four to six weeks, Monday through Friday.

Since its founding in 1994, the students who have completed the programs have come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from high school graduates to senior citizens looking for a career change.

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Graduates have gone on to work jobs at a variety of companies, including Samsung and Tesla. 

"There is a tremendous amount of opportunity out there," said Brackmeyer. "It's about helping individuals provide not only for themselves but their families, and at the same time, we're also filling the needs of employers throughout our area, so it's a win-win for everybody."

According to an October 2023 report by Workforce Solutions Capital Area, in the Austin metro, more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next ten years. The report called "the lack of qualified skilled talent" in this industry "a significant regional issue."