Since the establishment of the JET Fund in 2009, Texas has invested in nonprofit labor market intermediaries across the state that helped 800+ low-income, nontraditional community college students navigate their way through community college.
The Adult Career Education (ACE) Grant program, the effort's most recent permutation, now faces an uncertain future. In efforts to slash the state budget, Texas legislators are moving to eliminate all "special item" expenditures, including those that pay for special programs at colleges, over and beyond the normal higher education funding formulas.
"It has nothing to do with our program or the effectiveness of it," said Elizabeth Valdez, lead organizer for The Metropolitan Organization in Houston.
In fact, a recently-released gold-standard study established that the Texas IAF's flagship program, Project QUEST, was the only program in the nation to demonstrate sustained, sizable and statistically significant income gains. In photo, a Project QUEST-supported student works with a patient.
Funds Help Adult Career Program Boost Workforce, Families, Austin American Statesman
State Should Continue Funding ACE Job Training, San Antonio Express-News
Senate Resolution, Senate of the State of Texas
Escalating Gains: Project QUEST'S Sectoral Strategy Pays Off, Economic Mobility Corporation
Study Affirms Project QUEST Achievements, San Antonio Express-News
Texas Job Program Shows Unusually Strong, Lasting Gains, Study Finds, Austin American Statesman