TEES Helps Rural Transit District Win Grant

March 27, 2009
| By: Aubrey Bloom

COLEMAN, Texas - The Central Texas Rural Transit District (CTRTD) in Coleman has received a $1,296,766 Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program Grant funded by the Federal Transit Administration through the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). Central Texas Rural Transit District's JARC grant project was developed and submitted through a collaborative effort between CTRTD and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Center for Community Support. This federal grant will provide funds to increase transit services designed to meet the employment needs of rural residents in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Nolan and Stephens Counties into the cities of Abilene, Brownwood, Eastland, and Sweetwater. JARC Project transit services are planned to primarily center around job search, workshops, and trainings held at local workforce centers; and workshops and training held offsite but funded by the Workforce Solutions Center of West Central Texas. The plan also promises to extend service hours in order to enhance employment opportunities for rural residents in the city of Brownwood. "Rural Texas residents are facing many barriers and challenges as they work to keep their family farm and ranch lands. Many are required to travel into metro areas to work and gain new skills to earn needed wages." said Martha Opersteny of the Center for Community Support. "With the increasing cost of transportation, this project will provide a helping hand." Ms. Opersteny added. While the primary service needs will be access to jobs, education, and training, on a "space available" basis this service will be accessible to the general public. It is anticipated that medical and shopping needs may also be fulfilled using this coordinator service. J.R. Salazar, CTRTD's General Manager anticipates that over 2,000 clients will benefit from this project during the three year funding period. The TEES Center for Community Support provides a broad range of information, data and proposal writing services at no cost for Texas community-based nonprofit organizations. Support is available to pursue competitive funding for programs designed to improve the quality of life for Texans. In all, approximately $38 million in federal and private grants have been garnered for Texas' nonprofit sector with the direct assistance of the Center.

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