After recent disasters, Prairie View A&M University seeks to address the rebuilding and recovery efforts of Liberty and Waller counties through a pilot program initiative called The Rural Workforce Academy. The Community Economic Development unit (CED) is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Rural Workforce Academy Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 10 a.m. at the Carden-Waller Cooperative Extension Building located at 250 E.M. Norris St., Prairie View, TX 77446.

The EDA-2018-Disaster appropriations provided funding for the $1 million pilot program. Through the program, industry experts will train rural county residents through a six-week welding, an eleven-week electrical installer and service technician, a four-week core construction, and a five-week certified nursing assistant program. All participants will receive certification, classroom instruction, and hands-on training. Program participants will also gain training in essential-skills resume writing and interviewing training.

According to State Representative, Cecil Bell, Jr. (R-TX) these rural areas will benefit tremendously from this program, “PVAMU is at the forefront of helping our community with this new pilot program, by providing training and expertise to our unemployed and underemployed rural residents. I am very excited to see the impact of this pilot program in our community.”

PVAMU President, Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D., said “The Rural Workforce Academy fits well with the efforts of Prairie View to engage more fully with the surrounding communities, bringing training and expertise to support the overall economic health of the area. I believe such efforts demonstrate how universities can and must work in concert with communities to assure civic and economic well-being.”

TRWA is a collaboration of the U.S. Economic Development Administration Department of Commerce and Prairie View A&M University, the City of Prairie View and Langetree Retreat, and Ecocenter.

City of Prairie View Mayor, David Allen said, “The City of Prairie View is extremely excited and looking forward to the new Rural Workforce Academy. TRWA programs will create much-needed skills to fill jobs, which will generate revenue to assist further with our economic development efforts in our city and county. We thank PVAMU as this is another great example of the benefits of the MOU’s and partnering we have done to make our community a better place for all who live, work, and study here. God is blessing us.”

CAHS Dean and Director of Land Grant Programs, Gerard D’Souza, Ph.D., said, “It’s exciting to see PVAMU assist with rebuilding and recovery by putting people back to work. We are well-positioned to help provide employment opportunities to unemployed and underemployed rural residents. This program is another example of how we honor our mission to advocate for Texas’ underserved populations and limited resource clientele.”

This pilot program will meet EDA goals to provide economic resilience and aid in the long-term recovery plan for our Texas rural counties.

CEP’s Community Economic Development, Program Leader, Jimmy Henry, said, “Our goal for this pilot program is to provide an opportunity to the unemployed and underemployed rural community members to receive training in a high demand job. As part of the program, participants will receive job placement assistance with local employers making a difference in their community.” A pre-recorded event will be streamed online via YouTube and Facebook on Monday, August 17, at 10 a.m., at for the public to view.

Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, Beverly Copeland, Ph.D., will deliver the keynote. The half-hour ceremony will also include remarks from the Dean of College of Agriculture and Human Sciences and Director of Land Grant Programs, Gerard D’Souza, Ph.D.

Prospective students are invited to an in-person informational session from 12 pm – 1 pm on August 13th in the Carden-Waller Cooperative Extension Program Building. Limited seating available as we adhere to the CDC social distancing guidelines.

For more information about the academy and to sign up for upcoming FREE training, please visit or call us at 936-261-5165. Limited seating.