The Texas Skills Development Fund assists businesses by financing customized job training through local colleges or technical schools for new or existing jobs. The funds are granted directly to the college and used for the companies’ specific training program needs. The funds aren’t used for equipment or for paying trainees' wages, just for the actual instruction. Twenty-five million dollars have been appropriated to the fund for the current two-year operating cycle.
A local employer seeking Skills Development Fund assistance can work with Amarillo College to develop a joint proposal requesting funding, which is then presented to the Texas Workforce Commission. The TWC reviews the budget request and determines the amount of funding to be granted to AC for the training. The grant simply allows the college to recover its costs. The company doesn't pay anything so long as trainees who complete the program are paid the prevailing wage for their occupation in the local labor market.
Amarillo College is the region's primary provider of workforce training, and it serves area business and industry well by developing programs to meet their specific needs. For example, when Bell Helicopter Textron chose to locate their Aircraft Assembly Center in Amarillo, Amarillo College worked to develop a specific training program to polish the education and skills of those people interested in working for Bell. This program is referred to as the BETA program, the Bell Employee Training Alliance. This education opportunity allowed individuals, after having passed the curriculum, to have a guaranteed interview with Bell officials for employment.