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Summary: The Jobs and Education for Texans program was created to help train workers to fill skilled jobs in Texas. Funds from the JET program may currently be used for three main purposes; funding non-profit organizations that assist low-income individuals with obtaining employment in high-demand jobs, assisting approved public junior colleges and public technical institutions with equipment for career and technical education, and providing scholarships to students attending these institutions. HB 437 narrows the focus of the JET program by limiting funding strictly to the objective of providing technical training equipment for public junior colleges and public technical institutions.
Analysis: This legislation makes the JET program more efficient and transparent by applying funding directly to the purchase of technical training equipment rather than distributing it to third parties. Over the long run, the technical equipment will directly benefit and help train more students than direct scholarship or non-profit assistance programs would. While we have not commented on the value, necessity, or desirability of the JET program itself, we support this legislation to the extent that it improves the program and makes it more efficient in fulfilling its mission. We encourage the Legislature to vote favorably for HB 437.