JET Program
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Launchpad Fund

Fund Overview

Fund Purpose: Supports Texas nonprofit organizations with programs that prepare low-income students for careers in high-demand technical occupations, such as welding, computer support, engineering technology, nursing and allied health professions.

Budget Allocation: $10 million

Who Qualifies: Texas nonprofit organizations must be governed by boards including community and business leaders and must assist low-income students to prepare for, apply and enroll in public community colleges or technical schools in high-demand occupation training programs (see application instructions for further details).

The need for the Launchpad Fund arises as students increasingly look for ways to pay for costs associated with college. Tuition costs as a share of median household income continue to rise. According to the Texas Comptroller’s 2008 Texas Works report, tuition at four-year universities accounted for 6.4 percent of median household income in 2007, up from 4.1 percent in 2002. The share of community college average tuition rates for in-district students increased from 1.1 to 1.5 percent during this period.

Eligibility Requirements

Nonprofits must meet these criteria:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) organization;
  • Be community-based and led;
  • Has achieved or will achieve certain measures of success in assisting participants as applicable; and
  • Provide matching funds.

Fund Awards

Round 1

On Oct. 20, 2009, the Comptroller awarded $3.2 million in the first round of Launchpad funds to the following nonprofit organizations:

Award Amount Round 1 Nonprofit Program Recipient
and Region
$500,000 Project QUEST, Inc., San Antonio (Alamo Workforce Development Board District)
$500,000 Project ARRIBA, El Paso (Upper Rio Grande)
$500,000 Capital IDEA, Austin (Capital Area)
$500,000 H.I.S. BridgeBuilders, Dallas (Dallas)
$400,000 Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement, Weslaco (Lower Rio Grande Valley)
$300,000 Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement, Weslaco (Cameron County)
$250,000 Capital IDEA, Austin (Gulf Coast)
$250,000 East Texas Literacy Council, Longview (East Texas)

Round 2

On Mar 29, 2010, the Comptroller awarded $2.86 million in the second round of Launchpad funds to the following nonprofit organizations:

Award Amount Round 2 Nonprofit Program Recipient
and Region
$61,754 Alamo CC District Foundation (San Antonio)
$170,950 Brazosport College Foundation (Gulf Coast)
$225,000 Capital Idea (Rural Capital)
$255,000 NE Texas CC Foundation (NE Texas)
$180,000 Project Quest (San Antonio)
$396,000 Project Quest (Dallas)
$404,000 Project Quest (South Plains)
$500,000 South Texas College (McAllen)
$441,660 Tarrant CC Foundation (Fort Worth)
$227,500 W. Texas College Foundation (Snyder)