Texarkana Chamber Will Receive $332,000 Grant From T.L.L. Temple Foundation

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The Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation has been awarded a $331,988 grant from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation to further their efforts in workforce development in the region. The grant is to be distributed over a three-year period. The goals of the program are for Miller and Bowie County to earn and sustain ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT® WRC) certification.

“The Chamber Foundation is dedicated to providing a positive business environment. Our many businesses need and utilize qualified employees. Through this partnership, the Chamber shall assist in providing tools for potential employees and employers to be successful,” according to Michael Malone, president of the Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce

According to Robbin Bass, director of business retention and expansion for the Chamber, “ACT® WorkKeys is an exciting program because it links and aligns education partners, community-based organizations, and employers within the same common framework, using the same data, processes, and tools to drive workforce development and economic growth.”

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During the past year, lead education, workforce, and economic development stakeholders across Texarkana identified the need for and potential of ACT® WorkKeys. They dedicated themselves to vetting the ACT® WorkKeys program, including attending the ACT® WorkKeys Bootcamp, have collaborated for months to gauge interest, build partnerships, and organize a local leadership team. The grant builds upon a solid foundation of local demand and demonstrated progress.

The grant directly aligns with the T.L.L. Temple Foundation’s strategic education objective, “All 16-24-year-old rural East Texans earn a credential with labor market value that contributes to building a thriving East Texas.” Specifically, the grant emphasizes the student success focus area for helping, “rural students, particularly historically underrepresented groups, gain degrees or credentials that lead to high-demand, high-wage jobs.”

The grant will support the Texarkana region to become an ACT® Work Ready Community, and, as a result:
Texarkana regional education providers will inspire student preparation with the knowledge and skills they need for future workforce success, Texarkana regional employers will be better able to align high-demand skills to jobs, find the right local talent, and train employees for future success, Texarkana regional students and the current and transitioning workforce will have better opportunities to demonstrate their skills, identify their interests, and find the right good jobs, and Texarkana regional economic developers will have a stronger local workforce to retain, grow, and attract business and industry.

The T.L.L. Temple Foundation works alongside rural communities to build a thriving East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunities for all. Since its founding in 1962 by Mrs. Georgie Temple Munz, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has invested more than $500 million primarily to strengthen communities in rural East Texas. For more information about the foundation, visit www.tlltemple.foundation.

The Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation was created in 2019 for the advancement of knowledge and understanding of economics, promote economic development, the leadership development of the community, matters of public concern, finance, education and training, housing, human relations, problems of minority groups, science and technology, economic planning and development, international relations, tourism, and other subjects related to improved efficiency, development, acceleration of both the quality and quantity of economic growth and employment opportunities. This workforce development partnership meets this objective.

For additional information on the community, and economic development, contact the chamber at 819 North State Line Avenue, Texarkana, Texas: 903-792-7191, or rbass@texarkana.org.

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