Growing Regional Opportunity for the Workforce: Project GROW Goes to Seed in the Texas-Mexico Border Areas
Final Implementation Analysis Report
Authors: Dan O’Shea, Ashweeta Patnaik, and Heath Prince
Date: June 2016
Publication Type: Report, 122pp
Abstract: Project GROW (Growing Regional Opportunities for the Workforce) was an ambitious regional, multi-partner, strategically comprehensive effort that sought to build upon successful and innovative practices to accelerate certification, employment, and career advancement in demand occupations for an array of economically marginal target groups. A consortium of five Workforce Investment Boards known as the Border Workforce Alliance implemented the demonstration whose service area spanned the entire Texas-Mexico border area from the City of Brownsville in the south to El Paso in the north. Despite significant economic expansion in recent years, this region remains one of the most disadvantaged areas in the state and the nation in terms of poverty, unemployment, literacy, limited English language proficiency, education, and income. Project GROW was designed to reduce the predominance of these characteristics for sections of the population that generally have the most difficulty successfully navigating available education, training, and employment opportunities and to prepare the workforce needed to meet the needs of employers in key growth industry sectors. The report provides an analysis of the processes, accomplishments, and constraints of the demonstration, as well as recommendations for sustaining, improving, and replicating the demonstration features, many of which were precursors of WIOA provisions.