The Trib reports on new PW / African American Chamber program

The Waco Tribune-Herald carried a front page story about a new job training program co-sponsored by Prosper Waco and Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce.

"Show up wearing steel-toed shoes and willing to learn a trade, and a new program supported by Prosper Waco and the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce could mean a job making $32,000 a year to start," the story reports.

"It takes money to make money, as the saying goes, and Prosper Waco has received a $250,000 grant from the Trellis Foundation to put the jobless and under-employed locally through its new UpSkill Waco job training program. Demand in Waco is growing for skills related to repairing, installing and dismantling industrial machinery, said Rachel Pate, vice president for economic development at the Cen-Tex African American Chamber. The goal of UpSkill Waco is to equip resident to meet that demand. ...

"Young people ages 18 to 24 who are not enrolled in higher education and who are not working are the targeted group, said Tiffany Gallegos Whitley, Prosper Waco director of workforce initiatives. Participants who meet income eligibility requirements will pay nothing for their seven weeks of training provided by Texas State Technical College and Goodwill Industries. ...

"Students need not buy tools or other material, which will be provided."

Whitley, the story continued, said, "Prosper Waco hopes to recruit 90 people over two years. She said the 'sweet spot' is having five to 10 participants each session, allowing for individual attention and pandemic-related precautions, if necessary.

"Participants will not receive pay during the seven-week training period, but Prosper Waco eventually would like to duplicate a program in San Antonio in which trainees also receive a stipend, Whitley said.

"She said she continues to approach local business about interest in participating in the program in various capacities. She said her research and that of others indicate those completing the course could land jobs making $32,000 a year to start, putting them on the ground floor of opportunity in a field 'where they can earn a good living.'

"Assuming that $32,000 is earned in 52 weeks at 40 hours each, it would amount to about a $15.38 hourly wage."

Read the full story at the link above. We thank The Trib and Mike Copeland for publishing this important story for our community.