Alvin Community College will use funds from a new grant to give students with criminal histories a second chance.

ACC received a $350,000 Texas Talent Connection grant from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott, according to a June 14 news release by the Texas Workforce Commission. The federal grant aims to support workforce training and job placement services locally by funding education programs, according to the release.

The grant supports the commission's New Beginnings Project, a re-entry program by Alvin Community College in partnership with Lee College in Baytown aimed at assisting individuals with troubled backgrounds who were involved with the Texas Department of Corrections. The program provides education and workforce skills training through degrees and certifications to these second-chance individuals.

The programs offered at ACC for second-chance individuals are associate degrees and technical certification programs.

“This project demonstrates the leadership for groundbreaking programs to ensure every Texan gets a second chance,” said Alberto Treviño III, commissioner representative, in the release.

The New Beginnings Project was initially awarded a Texas Talent Connection grant in 2021. It has since developed a model program for second-chance individuals, connecting them with regional employers and support systems in local communities, including Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast.

“The ultimate goal is to provide academic support and to get them in the workforce to maintain employment,” said Inez Ihezue, New Beginnings Project manager at Alvin Community College.