Texas Workforce Commission Grant Information

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On this page you will find information regarding the Texas Workforce Commission Grant for the upcoming season.  Please read the information carefully even if you have applied for the grant in previous seasons, as grant information changes from season to season.

Updated for the 2021-2022 Season

Purpose of Grant

To promote the development of new teams and events in the state of Texas, and to promote the outreach to teams with members who have disabilities, coming from under-served, underrepresented, or financially limited communities, teams serving military bases, teams made up of home-schooled students, students who are economically disadvantaged, foster students, and teams living in rural areas.

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements

All students must be between 9th – 12th grades and must be living in the state of Texas.

eligibility documentation requirements

FIRST® in Texas uses the TWC Roster (formerly “Eligibility Form”), a standardized form used to document the eligibility requirements.  The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Grant requires verification of student enrollment directly from the educational institute itself. For that reason, FIRST® in Texas cannot accept any verification from a third-party. The TWC Roster can be filled out and then either printed on school letterhead or signed by a school administrator.

If a school is unwilling to provide the TWC Roster, a number of alternatives are available. FIRST® in Texas can accept any signed letter from a school administrator listing the names of the students on the teams and their grade level. FIRST® in Texas can also accept a copy any official correspondence between the school and the student (such as the most recent Report Card) which contains the students name and grade level (all other information should be blacked out). In the event a student is home-schooled, FIRST® in Texas can accept a signed letter from the parent explaining that the child is home-schooled and the grade the student is in.

The required information for eligibility verification (student name and grade level) is described as directory information in Subpart D section 99.37 of FERPA. Each school will have a directory information policy which will govern this information. FERPA does not forbid the disclosure of this information; it merely sets up guidelines for school policies.

All documents must be compiled into a single PDF for uploading to Submittable.

Priorities

Inclusion of communities historically underrepresented and under-served in STEM, financial need, participation in activities that promote and expand robotics in the state of Texas, and teams located in areas where there is less of an established FIRST® presence.

Grant Documents

Click the file names to download documents required from grant recipients:

Awards

FIRST® robotics competition

  • Veteran Teams | $1,000
  • Rookie Teams | $3,000

FIRST® tech challenge

  • Veteran Teams | $400
  • Rookie Teams | $1,000

FIRST® Access

  • LEGO Robotics | LEGO Robotics Kit and materials valuing $500+
  • FIRST Tech Challenge | Robotics Kit, Field and Game Set, and materials valuing $2,500+

Allowable costs

Equipment and Robot Components from approved vendors (see below), and Registration / Event Fee Expenses

Non-Allowable costs

Sales Tax, Computers, Travel, Food, and Lodging Costs

Award delivery – FIRST Robotics Competition teams:

  • Once the team has submitted the required paperwork via Submittable (W-9, TWC Roster, and Extended Demographics form), FIRST in Texas will send the grant funds directly to FIRST for application to the team’s national registration fee.
  • Teams are responsible for paying any additional portion of the fee that is not covered by the TWC Grant (or obtaining other sponsorships / grants to cover the balance).
  • Any surplus funds that are not needed to cover your national registration fee will be available to you via the FIRST re-grant process. You can request a re-grant via the Dashboard. Re-grants will be available ONLY AFTER you have submitted the required documents, and after FIRST in Texas has been invoiced by FIRST and sent a check to FIRST with your grant funds. This process may take 4-8 weeks to complete. For assistance with re-grants, please call FIRST at 1-800-871-8326.

Award delivery – FIRST Tech Challenge teams:

FTC Teams who receive a TWC Veteran or Rookie Team Grant must complete the “TWC FTC Grant Selections” Form (the link will be in your award notification email). This Form requires teams to upload the TWC Roster; this Form also requires you to choose how you would like to use your funds. Review the options outlined below before making your choice. Teams must make sure they have submitted their W-9, TWC Roster, and Extended Demographics form in Submittable in order for grant funds to be processed.

Once the “TWC FTC Grant Selections” Form is complete and is reviewed by FIRST in Texas, you will be asked to upload any / all of the required proof of payment documents necessary for reimbursement. You can continue to upload documents throughout the season, until the deadline of May 2, 2022.

The TWC Grant provides for the following allocations options:

  • $275.00 for National Registration Fee (via reimbursement or direct credit to your FIRST Dashboard)
  • Local Event Fee(s) (2 Options: via reimbursement or direct credit to your local Program Delivery Partner)
  • Robot supplies, equipment, or field materials purchased from approved vendors (via reimbursement or vendor credit)

== VENDOR CREDIT TERMS ==

  • If you choose to have your grant funds sent to AndyMark and/or REV Robotics, you will receive additional instructions directly from the vendors on how to use those funds.
  • Additional Requirements:
    • If you choose to send funds to REV Robotics, you will be required to submit a sales tax exemption form. If you do not have a sales tax exemption, we will contact you for alternative arrangements.
    • Once you have used your funds at AndyMark and/or REV Robotics, you will be required to upload your order receipts.

== ACCEPTABLE PROOFS OF PAYMENT FOR REIMBURSEMENT ==

Please note: a Purchase Order IS NOT a payment and will not be accepted as proof of payment.

Accepted Items Include:

  • Receipts with Vendor name clearly indicated, showing method of payment applied (other than a PO)
  • An Invoice from the Vendor marked “Paid” and/or showing a $0 balance due.
  • A copy of a cleared check with the Vendor name clearly indicated, accompanied by a matching Invoice or Quote from the vendor.

== APPROVED VENDORS ==

If you qualify to receive expense reimbursements, you may submit proof of payment for purchases made from these Approved Vendors:

  • FIRST
  • AndyMark
  • REV Robotics
  • Pitsco Education
  • ServoCity

== REIMBURSEMENT SCHEDULE ==

FIRST in Texas will process team grant reimbursements on a monthly basis. See our Grant Calendar for these dates. Submit your documentation by the Forms Due in order to be included in that month’s disbursements.