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Smart Jobs Fund

Smart Jobs Fund

The Smart Jobs Fund is a business incentive program designed to increase the competitiveness of El Paso in the global economy. The Smart Jobs Fund provides direct grants to employers for customized training in occupations that are in manufacturing, emerging industries, and in demand. The program is "employer driven," which means the employer determines what training is needed for their work force, so long as they meet the requirements set forth by the State Legislature. These requirements include certain salary levels, an employer match, and a workers retention period of three months after the training projects is completed.

All employers that have been in business for at least one year are eligible. At least 60 percent of the funds must go to existing Texas businesses, and up to 40 percent to businesses new to the state of Texas. All businesses must demonstrate financial soundness and fulfillment of state tax obligations.

Fifty percent of Smart Jobs Funds are targeted to small business; 20 percent are targeted to minority businesses. In addition, businesses in rural areas and in Enterprise Zones receive special priority. Consortiums with two or more employers applying together under a common training plan will also receive priority.

The application is designed to be simple so that any employer can easily apply for training funds. The application asks each employer to provide a business and training plan that details product and service outcome goals for the company and that shows how the customized training will enable those outcomes. The employer specifies the number and types of jobs for which training will be provided, along with who the training provider will be and a description of the training materials.

Applications are reviewed and scored on the basis of a fair and objective point system. The criteria are priorities established by the Legislature, including those outlined above. All applications will be reviewed within 10 working days. If the application is incomplete, the employer will be notified with the specific information needed. Once the application is complete, a funding recommendation will be made within 30 additional working days.

Call the City of El Paso at (915)533-4284 for a complete Smart Jobs application packet and additional information.

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