Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Opening statements today in appeal to protect DACA; last chance to register to vote in MO August primary; and mapping big-game routes.


Highland Park mass shooting witnesses describe horrific scene, police release details about shooter, and Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, receive subpoenas as part of an investigation surrounding former President Trump.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

TX Groups Lean In to Expand Rural Higher Ed, Workforce Opportunities


Monday, March 7, 2022   

New grant money will connect nonprofits, colleges and companies to help more rural Texans go back to college and earn a certificate or degree.

The UpSkill Coastal Bend Partnership has been chosen by CivicLab as one of five rural partnerships across the U.S. for a two-year initiative to improve higher education and workforce systems.

Jeffrey West, executive director of Education to Employment Partners, said the rapid incubation funds will help close the equity gap and lift up rural residents.

"We know that the higher the educational attainment level," said West, "the better chance of a resident in a rural area getting a better paying job, better life for their family, generational poverty broken."

Supported by Ascendium Education Group, UpSkill will receive training, technical assistance, and funds to develop and implement system-level strategies that create pathways to prosperity for low-income learners.

Dakota Pawlicki, director of Talent Hubs with CivicLab, said the program allocated $750,000 to five rural communities that it believes have largely been left out of postsecondary education and workforce initiatives.

"It's divided by five to each group," said Pawlicki, "so each group gets roughly $150,000 worth of support, direct financial assistance and then, also, technical assistance."

The Texas counties of Brooks, Duval and Jim Wells were chosen for the project because low-wage jobs are the norm there - which West said needs to be systemically improved.

"In each one of these counties," said West, "from 2011 to 2020 population has declined, so the trend is not positive for these three counties. But we can turn it around, and we hope to, and we're working very hard to do that, and that's what this initiative is going to allow us to do."

In addition to West's group, the UpSkill Coastal Bend Partnership includes Coastal Bend College, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, Coastal Bend Council of Governments, and Coastal Bend's Craft Training Center.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

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