House Skills Development Bill Quadruples Training Opportunities for Texas Workers

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Don Baylor /(512) 320-0222 x 108

May 16, 2005

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HB 2421 (Chavez) would create a larger and more stable source of funding for the Skills Development Fund (SDF)—Texas’ primary state-funded workforce development program. For the past several years, the Skills Development Fund, administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), has been hampered by relatively flat General Revenue funding at approximately $25 million per biennium. By dedicating a portion of unemployment insurance tax paid by employers, HB 2421 would generate $49.3 million for the Skills Development Fund for Fiscal Year 2007 grants. In contrast, SB 1096 would dedicate the vast majority of these unemployment insurance revenues to the Enterprise Fund—a program that promotes job creation at 10 times the cost of the Skills Development Fund and mostly subsidizes projects in metropolitan areas.