AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded 18 grants totaling nearly $1 million to Texas universities and community colleges this year. The grants are allowing more than 1,800 students between ages 14 and 21 to attend summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The summer camps support initiatives by Gov. Rick Perry to prepare youth for future high-skill, high-demand jobs. Supported by Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Statewide Activity funds, the effort is part of the Governor’s Summer Merit Program, which aims to inspire Texas youth to pursue STEM-related careers.
“Investing in youth education today is critical to addressing the future demands of growing industries,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar. “These science camps attract young people to expanding high-tech professions and strengthen the state’s talent pool for future economic growth.” TWC collaborated with the Texas Engineering and Technical Consortium (TETC), which is comprised of the Office of the Governor, TWC, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, businesses and higher education institutions.
“Texas plays a significant role in our nation’s innovation and economic success,” said Arturo Sanchez III, TETC Chair and Manager of Workforce Development. “TETC is proud to again work with TWC to increase the number of students participating in summer programs focused on engineering and computer science. Our shared support for these programs ensures Texas’ students will continue to develop into future innovators.”
The 18 grant recipients are: • Austin Community College, $35,305 – 68 scholarships for two camps, including one that provides hand-on experience in computer programming and design, and another that explores biotechnology, computer security administration and criminal justice topics. • Midwestern State University, $45,105 – 200 scholarships for two camps, including the At-Risk 9th Grader Transition Camp and the Junior/Senior Residential Camp in which participants focus on topics such as STEM-related careers or learn about environmental changes and renewable technologies. • Northwest Vista College, $15,221 – 24 scholarships for high school girls to participate in a summer robotics camp to encourage knowledge in STEM-related disciplines, and to provide hands-on experience for designing, building and programming robots. • Prairie View A&M University, $29,470 – 20 scholarships to high school students for renewable energy camps targeting engineering, math, science and energy issues. • San Jacinto College, $123,732 – 250 scholarships for students to attend Energy Venture: Careers in Energy camps to promote STEM-related industry careers and facilitate research and education camps at Johnson Space Center. – more – Texas Workforce Commission • 512-463-8942 • http://www.texasworkforce.org • Equal Opportunity Employer Relay Texas • 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) • 1-800-735-2988 (Voice)
2-2-2-2 Summer Merit Program • Texas A&M University at Kingsville – Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering, $128,566 – 80 scholarships among two camps in which high school girls gain hands-on experience or participate in lecture-style activities involving STEM-related disciplines. • Texas A&M University at Texarkana, $10,156 –24 scholarships for an Exploring Bio-Technology Summer Camp that introduces youth to biotechnology concepts and techniques through hands-on experiments. • Texas Engineering Experiment Station, $42,000 – 80 scholarships for two engineering-focused camps, including one for high school students in Texas A&M – College of Engineering’s targeted recruitment plan, and another for high school girls in which participants engage in challenging senior faculty-led design projects. • Texas State Technical College at Waco, $50,400 – 80 scholarships for participants among four camps to gain hands-on experience in aerospace, supercomputing, welding or Web site design. • Texas State Technical College West Texas, $22,611 –80 scholarships for participants among five camps to learn about cybersecurity, renewable energy, video-game programming, metal inert gas welding and agriscience, among other vocations. • Texas Tech University, $42,105 – 40 scholarships for participants to gain experience in applying complex math applications in science, technology and engineering at Texas Tech University Women’s Summer Mathematics academies. • University of North Texas, $42,000 – 40 scholarships to teach participants coding and programming principles using computers and gaming consoles, and the role of physics and mathematics in game design. • University of Texas at Arlington, $39,000 – 61 scholarships in a variety of science and engineering disciplines among seven camps in which students tour labs, conduct lab experiments, focus on computer technology, witness engineering in area businesses and develop team-building skills. • University of Texas at Austin, $21,094 – a residential summer computer science camp for 60 high school girls that encourages them to pursue computer science degrees and careers in technology. • University of Texas at Austin, $58,800 – 280 scholarships among three camps, including My Introduction to Engineering (MITE), Women Engineers at the University of Texas at Austin (WE@UT) and Your Opportunities are Unlimited (YOU@UT). • University of Texas at Austin, $95,416 – 37 geoscience scholarships for the Houston 9th Grade GeoFORCE Academy and Southwest 9th Grade GeoFORCE Academy, college preparation programs. • University of Texas at Dallas – Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, $77,000 – 330 scholarships among three camps where participants explore STEM-related careers, visit with engineers, learn computer programming concepts, and develop Web site pages and presentations. • University of Texas at San Antonio, $116,550 – 115 scholarships among six camps as part of the Texas Prefreshmen Engineering Program that target math enrichment and prepare youth for success in advanced studies that lead to STEM-related careers.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.