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Why Texas Businesses Should Utilize the Skills Development Fund

The Skills Development Fund is a pool of state-funded grants that finance education and training opportunities for local businesses looking to upskill or reskill their existing talent. Led by the Texas Workforce Commission, this initiative aims to develop a highly-skilled workforce within the state by providing custom training programs for employees of Texas businesses.

How does it work?

Once your organization has identified a training need, you can partner with a learning institution to plan or identify a course that may fulfill that specific need. The Skills Development Fund then finances the training through the institution. This initiative can help your organization by encouraging the growth of a competitive workforce and raising the skill level of your most valuable asset: your team.

No time to peruse the rest of the article? No problem. Check out our infographic for the meat and potatoes of this article:


Skills development fund incentives infographics

Skills Development Fund Incentives

Stimulating Competition

The current climate of tech-driven companies is promising. While opportunities for growth and development exist for businesses, it is often limited by the basic skill level of the available workforce. However, the marketplace is becoming more competitive as advanced technologies and specialized skills become more desirable and widely available. To stay relevant and ahead of the curve, businesses have few alternatives than to utilize these new advances.

Being able to offer competitive products may allow you to access a wider range of customers, both locally and internationally. But skills development training is not limited to improving your end products. In fact, it may not affect them at all.

More skilled employees may allow your organization to work faster and more efficiently than your competitors. This allows your organization to offer your partners and customers an improved experience.

state-funded grants skills development

Encouraging Growth

Attracting more partners and customers gives your organization the ability to financially scale. As skilled employees have the tools to work more efficiently, your business may be able to take on more customers, improve the quality of your output, or simply have the know-how to effectively safeguard your proprietary information. Whether it’s profit maximization or risk reduction, investing in expanding the skill set of your workforce is beneficial to your business.

Of equal importance is the fact that skills development training also benefits your employees who are given the opportunity to grow professionally, at no financial cost to them. This can positively affect employee satisfaction and, in turn, boost both employee loyalty and retention.

When given the right skills and tools, employees not only work more efficiently on their assigned tasks, they can also offer their contributions to a more diverse selection of specialized tasks. This expands the range of work variety for the single employee, breaking the ofttimes dreaded monotony of doing the same few tasks over and over again. 

Easy Access

One of the leading incentives for this program is its ease of access and implementation. Working with an institution like Divergence Academy allows you the ability to schedule classes at convenient times for your employees. Their training can work in tandem with their normal duties, instead of against them. Divergence Academy is available on both on-campus and online formats, each containing the same valuable curriculum your employees need.

Employees don’t have to leave the state to be trained, in some cases they may not even need to leave their job site. The Skills Development Fund emphasizes local training for local progress, so everything you need can be accessed when and where you need it.

state-funded grants skills development

Surviving COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately exerted many negative effects on the overall economy as well as smaller communities. But it has also accelerated the need for technological adoption. Many of the companies that are able to survive, or more surprisingly turn a profit, during these times are tech leaders. Employees proficient in emerging technologies are more agile and responsive. They can work remotely and more efficiently, generating higher output per employee.

All of these features allow them to work under ever-changing conditions, making them the optimal workforce during a pandemic or other unforeseen event. Even if your employees are not yet well trained in this field, it may now be time to start investing in preparing to overcome future obstacles. Training begun today can help your organization survive tomorrow.

Applying to the Skills Development Fund

The Skills Development Fund has launched a new COVID-19 Special Initiative. It is currently the only available application, although there are usually other options. This initiative is aimed towards those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also geared towards those seeking to retool their organization in response to COVID-19 necessities. Applicants will need to justify why the training is essential and how it services as a response to COVID-19 pressures.

This program is providing up to $10 Million in grant awards to eligible applicants. The application itself can be found on the official Texas Workforce Commission website.

At Divergence Academy, we provide effective and efficient talent solutions to bridge the gap between your team’s current capabilities and the skills needed to stay competitive in today’s market. Learn more about how we help you upskill and reskill your workforce or get in touch with a member of our team today!