At a news conference held today in Austin, Texas, managed and cloud hosting giant Rackspace Hosting announced that, in partnership with Alamo Colleges to win a $2.5 million Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas state government’s Workforce Commission, that will be used to provide job training for 1,000 new workers, and current Rackspace employees, in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.
The Texas Workforce Commission has been distributing the grants since 1996, creating or upgrading more than 286,000 jobs in the state, and assisting 3,901 employers, during that time. The grants exist to train workers in the state on the kinds of skills that local businesses might otherwise have to look outside the state, or the country, to bring on board.
A large organization in a business that is built on the work of technically skilled employees, Rackspace is a major employer in the state of Texas, with more than 4,500 members of its staff. The cloud company will help with the project by providing training on the kinds of technologies that power the company’s managed hosting and cloud computing platforms.
The Texas-based training program is not the first news of Rackspace providing educational programs to emerge this year. In January, Rackspace announced that it would offer training on the OpenStack cloud platform as part of the current term at MIT.
“As the open cloud company, Rackspace fully understands the importance of a highly engaged, cloud savvy workforce,” says Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier, quoted in the press release. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Alamo Colleges and see this as an exciting step forward in our journey to bridging the IT skills gap.”
According to the press release, the workers trained via the program will include technicians, Linux administrators and software developers.
“This grant will provide training for skills that companies would have previously had to search for globally,” says state Senator Carlos Uresti, quoted in the press release. “We are pleased that this partnership will result in good-paying jobs here in Texas.”
The TWC is an organization established to help employers and workers based in Texas to prosper, according to the press release. The State Legislature has assigned $48.5 million for the skills development fund for 2012 and 2013.
“Skills grants deliver customized training solutions that help Texas employers and workers succeed in the marketplace,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar, also in the announcement. “This investment builds not only employee skills, but the capabilities of our community colleges to the benefit of employers and the community. We are pleased to make this investment.”
Talk back: Have you ever pursued grants, or other kinds of involvement with state or local governments? Have you been involved with organizations like Alamo Colleges on a project like this? Let us know in the comments.