Self Sufficiency Fund for Training


Self Sufficiency Fund for Training


The Self Sufficiency Fund provides training grants to community and technical colleges and community-based organizations 501(c )(3) who delivers occupational training that must lead to an acceptable industry recognized certification for adult recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or individuals who are At-Risk of becoming dependent on public assistance, who are: Individuals who are a members of a SNAP household with dependent children; TANF applicants referred to a Workforce Board contractor by the Department of Human Services, or are parents including a non-custodial parent, who make less than $37,000 annually. Texas Work Force Commission (TWC) accepts project proposal submissions throughout the year for training programs that typically last for 12 months.

How the Self Sufficiency Fund Works

Eligible training providers applying for a grant may include nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-based organizations, Texas public community or technical colleges, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). Training providers must:

  • Gain letters of support from local businesses indicating support of job skills training to be offered in project
  • Work closely with the local Workforce Development Board to assist with identifying eligible participants
  • Complete and submits grant application to TWC
  • Coordinate and deliver training
  • Administer the grant

The Self-Sufficiency Fund pays for curriculum development, instructor fees and certifications, training materials, certain work-related expenses for trainees and some training equipment. Applicants may receive up to $500,000 per proposal.

Training must be provided in one of the following industry clusters. Training may be for core, ancillary or support occupations that establishes a career path toward higher-level occupations.

Target Industry Clusters are:

  • Advanced Technologies and Manufacturing
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Biotechnology and Life Sciences
  • Construction
  • Logistics
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Information and Computer Technology
  • Petroleum Refining and Chemical Products

Training can be delivered through a variety of methods including classroom, simulations, online instruction, and on-the-job instruction.

Business partners can be private, for-profit business, nonprofit hospital, or trade union.

TWC accepts project proposal submissions throughout the year for training programs that typically last for 12 months.

Collaboration between training providers, businesses, and Workforce Development Boards is required. Efforts may include:

  • Letters of support from the local business indicating the number of job openings and support of job skills training being offered in the project
  • Endorsement of the project from the Workforce Development Board
  • Contributions from other resources that are committed to the project

Program Benefits

The Self Sufficiency Fund provides access to training dollars that will lead to permanent employment opportunities.

  • Businesses fill entry to mid-level positions with candidates trained to fill high demand occupations and businesses become more competitive resulting in a strengthened Texas economy
  • Participants attain an occupational skill for high demand occupations and receive an industry recognized certification that will result in becoming independent of public assistance
  • College partners that participate in the Self Sufficiency Fund training are economic development leaders in their communities

For more information, click HERE.

Contact or call 1-877-463-1777 with questions.

Fear’s Impact – It’s Bigger Than You Think!


Barbara Metzger is the founder and president of Maximize, which she formed in 1990. She has created, facilitated and/or lead a wide range of development projects. Having used internationally validated assessments for the past 25 years, she has specialized in selection at all levels and maximizing executive teams. Having done thousands of validated assessments, Barbara’s strength is exceptional in understanding people’s behavior, motivation and interpersonal dynamics. Another strong consideration is how values impact the team, the company and the productivity. She is also very effective using an Emotional Intelligence assessment and coaching to raise the EQ level of the individual or the team to have a positive impact on profits. An accomplished trainer, consultant and professional speaker, Barbara’s extensive theoretical knowledge is grounded in practical, real-world experience. Barbara also provides management consulting, executive coaching and general people problem solving.

We had the privileged  of having Barbara Metzger  speak on how to recognize fear in your world, it’s widespread impact, and some ideas on limiting the negative impact on your life. She gave us some clear take-away and resources like Ted Talk links on the power of vulnerability www:// _vulnerability and listening to shame .

Fear's Impact

Ambitious Entrepreneur Virtual Summit


The Ambitious Entrepreneur Virtual Summit (AEVS) is your gateway to success in 2016! If you have ideas and are ready to pursue  your passion for monumental growth, do not miss this virtual event on April 25th to the 29th. 17 speakers are lined up to deliver 5 days of AMAZING, never seen before content! From interviews to webinars to online networking, AEVS is ready to help you level up your entrepreneur game and find the success you’ve been looking for!

Register to the Ambitious Entrepreneur Virtual Summit with 17 AMAZING, talented entrepreneurs world wide for over five days of access to training’s on a broad range of business topics:

Virtual Summit Speakers

Influence Your Body, Influence Others: Body Language for Leaders


By Kali Jennifer Patrick with A Journey into Health

I had the pleasure of speaking with members of the North Austin Influencers Group about body language. It’s been awhile since I’ve presented to a more corporate / entrepreneurial audience so truth is I was a bit nervous. Which was actually FANTASTIC, because it gave me a perfect opportunity to practice what I was preaching: a completely different way of exploring body language that was mostly rooted in yogic philosophy and my training as a (therapeutic) yoga instructor!

My audience was interactive, open, and willing to try something new. I received several complements after the talk, which was very nice to hear since I had put a lot of work into doing something different yet accessible on the topic. In the preliminary exercise I had attendees write down a word to describe the last person they spoke to and what it was about their body language communicated that this–the man I had been talking to wrote “confident”, because my “back was straight/chest out w/ smile”. :-)

For those of you who missed it or are just curious, click on the link for the the talk, here. 

Get a Refreshing Night’s Sleep







A Journey into Health ‘s next workshop is Get a Refreshing Night’s Sleep:  Heal Your Insomnia on March 19th.

  • Do you have trouble falling sleep, either because your body or your mind (or both) are restless?
  • Do you fall asleep fine, but wake during the night, unable to return to a restful state?
  • Even if you fall asleep and stay asleep, do you wake feeling refreshed? Do you have energy “dips” during the day? How is your mood?

For more details and to register, click here. 

About A Journey into Health:

In 1998 Kali added power yoga into her fitness routine to increase her flexibility, and started exploring meditation to offset the stress of her high-tech corporate job. It wasn’t until many years later–after several significant challenges and deep internal work–that she started to see more clearly what it meant to be healthy.

In 2012 Kali took the full leap into mind-body wellness, forming A Journey Into Health. She became a 200-hour certified yoga instructor, found energy healing and holistic nutrition: she’s also an Usui Reiki Master and an Eating Psychology Coach. Kali also achieved the “experienced” yoga teaching designation along with her 500-hour certification in Yoga Therapy. She teaches group classes, offers private yoga, coaching, and Reiki sessions, as well as gives workshops in and around the Austin area.

SCORE offers Small Business Workshops at Round Rock Public Library


The Round Rock Public Library and the SCORE Austin chapter is resuming Biz.ability business workshops for small business owners (or those who are interested in starting their own business) this fall. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

Biz.ability business workshops will be from 12:30  to 3:30 p.m. at the Round Rock Public Library, 216 E. Main Street, Round Rock, Texas and will include topics and speakers:

7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success—March 4, 2016

You started your business because you love doing what you do…and because there are people who truly need your product or service. Not only do they need what you offer, but they are willing to pay a premium for your unique approach to meeting their need. But how do you connect with this “target market” in a way that builds “know, like, and trust” so that they will buy, buy more, and refer you to family and friends? You need a Marketing system!

Presented by Jeff Stec, Principal at Tylerica Systems, LLC, Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, Duct Tape Marketing Total Online PresenceTM Expert and Contributing Author to “Renewable Referrals: How to Cultivate More Profits.”(Workshop attendees will receive a complimentary copy.)

Financial Forecasts and Reporting—March 18, 2016

In this workshop you will learn the basics needed to manage your small business financials. You will see how to forecast sales and expenses; see true start-up costs; discuss profit and loss and pricing; and how to set and use financial benchmarks. This workshop will be led by SCORE volunteer Carleton Smith who has extensive experience as a corporate executive and small business mentor and trainer.

Alternatives for Funding Your Start-up or Growing Your Business—March 25, 2016

In this workshop you will be exposed to options for financing your small business, including start-up and expansion. In addition, you will learn what is needed to qualify for various types of financing. The workshop will address traditional bank lending, SBA lending sources and alternative funding such as micro-lending.

A panel of experts including local banker Rene Flores of  First Texas State Bank, and representatives of alternative funding organizations Marco Melendez of People Fund, Arie Muniz of Lift Fund and Darin Thompson of Able Lending, will lead this engaging and informative workshop.

For more details, full list of workshops, and to register, visit here.


Amplify Austin Day : Annual community-wide day of online giving


Amplify Austin Day is our city’s annual community-wide day of online giving. The 24- hour period provides an easy and fun way for our entire community to give together while helping local nonprofits. Over the past three years, Amplify Austin has raised over $16.2M for hundreds of local organizations. In 2015, 41 percent of the 44,700 Amplify Austin donations were first time gifts to nonprofit organizations. Together the community raised over $7.7M for over 500 Central Texas nonprofits.

Last year, over 500 nonprofits participated in Amplify Austin Day.  On March 8-9, 2016, Amplify Austin’s goal is to raise over $9M for more than 600 nonprofits.  All of these organizations play an important role in making Central Texas a better place to live. Amplify Austin Day raises much-needed funds for nonprofits of all sizes, in all areas of service, and participating donors choosing the nonprofit to benefit from their contributions while connecting with one or more of nonprofit partners to give back to Central Texas! Get ready to amp up the giving on March 8-9, 2016!

Search by nonprofit or keyword to select your organization of choice, here .

amplify austin

Influence Your Body, Influence Others: Body Language for Leaders with Kali Patrick


Kali Patrick with A Journey into Health spoke at the North Austin Influencers February professional development on Influence Your Body, Influence Others: Body Language for Leaders #Influencers

Thank-you to Kali Patrick for sharing your wealth of knowledge on the subject, all who attended, and Pierpont Communications for hosting our group.

Click on photos below to access the Facebook album with more pictures from the event.


Influence Your Body, Influence Others: Body Language for Leaders  Influence Your Body, Influence Others: Body Language for Leaders



Influence Your Body, Influence Others: Body Language for Leaders

January 2016 North Austin Influencers Professional Development


Thank-you to everyone that joined us for Define Your Story and Raise Awareness Through Your Image and Video with international stylist, Priscilla Gallardo and award-winning filmmaker, photographer & Director of Content at Golden Arm Media, Chris Van Loan II. Special appreciation to Golden Arm Media for hosting our group.

Priscilla Gallardo, international stylist trained with European schools and techniques to achieve her client’s demands. She developed her skills working on film projects, editorial shoots and red carpets, making her award winner by Austin Fashion Week and Trash Makeover Challenge. You can enjoy her beauty TV segment at “Despierta Austin” (“Wake Up Austin”) by Univision 62.

Chris Van Loan II is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer & Director of Content at Golden Arm Media, a video marketing company specializing in high-end digital content for Austin brands and startups. Before joining the Golden Arm team Chris ran his own wedding photo/video company, Van Loan Film, for 5 years. He met the company founder, Alex Murphy, as a film student at UT Austin, working on various projects together and becoming good friends. As the primary videographer and photographer at Golden Arm Media Chris takes in pride in achieving the unique look and imagery of different brands, making people look good and putting clients at ease. View a highlights reel of Golden Arm’s video work at:

Five helpful tips for delivering a great on-camera performance and connecting better with your audience, including:

1. Smile!
2. Speak with Passion
3. Stay Grounded
4. Visualize Your Success
5. Shake it Out!

Click on photos below to view photo album from the event.

Define Your Story and Raise Awareness Through Your Image and Video

A Table for One


By Rachel Lupercio, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Associate with Excelerated Living

The holidays can sometimes bring on a sense of being more alone than any other time of year as a single person.  In the words of an old Three Dog Night song “One is the loneliest number that you ever knew”. Yes I’m dating myself for some of you that never heard of that song, yet if you’re single you still may be able to relate to the heartfelt meaning of those words.  So what is one to do?  We certainly can spend time with friends and family to alleviate some of those lonely times.    Dare I say that you can be a party of one and still be quite content?  This could actually be when you get to enjoy your independence and pick and choose those things that bring you happiness.  During the holiday season in particular there are many volunteer opportunities that get you out of yourself and give you a sense of fulfillment all at the same time.  Getting out and about can bring enjoyment, but what about when you have to go home?  Know that the decisions you make as a single person are yours and yours alone.  These decisions feed not only into the things you do but the attitude that you choose to have.  So when you do go home and you are alone are you able to be content in your own company?  If not is there something deeper going on that needs your attention?  That may be the question, to your own self be true by taking care of you.

If you would like an opportunity to explore your thoughts & feelings with others,  please join us at

The Center For Relationships for “A Table For One” workshop on January 9, 2016 from 10 – 11:30.

Located at 8810 Business Park Drive, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78759.

The cost for this workshop will be $10.00 per person to encourage you to take some time for you and enjoy a moment with others who may be going through some of the things that you are experiencing.

Rachel Lupercio, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Associate


Contact 512-465-2926 with any questions.

Table for One

The 7 Habits Of Great Improvisers Every Leader Should Practice


By Shawn Utterback, CEO of The PlayStorming Group

Say Yes, and…

The first lesson that an improviser learns is to accept every offer that is made. This basic rule is known as ‘Yes, anding.’ This principle allows improvisers to be positive and always look for new directions and opportunities. By saying ‘yes,’ you accept an idea ‘and’ you develop the idea further, making it better. An idea will quickly grow if you’re positive. You also validate the person making the offer, which opens the door to communication and collaboration.

Be Flexible…

An improviser never really knows what he will be confronted with, so he should not be too fixated on following his own plan. He has to be willing to abandon his own ideas and go along with other people’s. Flexibility also helps to create new associations and connections.

Listen to Understand…

Many leaders listen just enough to respond. Cue sound bites from any political debate or town hall meeting. How many of us listen to understand. When having a conversation, do you think about what you are going to say next? Is your response run through the filter of ‘agenda’? Active listening facilitates understanding and authentic connection. This requires one to be “in the moment”. Which leads us to…

Be In The Moment…

A great improviser lives in the here and now, in the present. He is alert and is able to respond instantly and sharply to changes or sudden twists and turns. This means that all sorts of other thoughts do not distract him, but that he is totally focused on things that are happening around him at that particular moment in time. By being in the present, and not judging the situation, all options are open and everything is possible.


Before they start doing anything, great improvisers focus on the big picture. The details will follow spontaneously once they start improvising and experimenting. If you want to plan all the details in advance, you will spend a lot of time only to discover that reality is more resilient than you thought. It is only through experimentation that you will find out what does and doesn’t work. Practice exploration and discovery.

Make Others Look Good…

A good improviser is very altruistic by nature. One of the ground rules of improv is: make sure the other person looks good. When you watch two improvisers on stage, you can easily see this habit at work. They do not try to outshine the other person. Instead, they make strong choices that set others up for success. What choices do you make as a leader that sets other up for success?

Dare To Fail…

It’s very important that a great improviser dares to fail. It is the opposite of trying to prevent every mistake. If you try to control the whole situation, you end up spending more time and money instead of making the mistake and learning from it. And learning from mistakes is a vital part of improvisation (and leadership). So go for it, fail fast and learn fast.

About the Play Storming Group:

PLAY STORMING is a collision between work and play, a consulting network that uses experiential learning methods – including techniques from Improvisational Theatre – to help people with COMMUNICATION, CREATIVITY and CHANGE.


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