16:35 PM

UHD, H.E.A.R.T Launching Workforce Development Program

$1.1M Grant Supporting Initiative Helping Adults with I/DD Reenter Workforce

It’s been one year since Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston, Galveston and surrounding communities. Many area residents continue to rebuild their homes and lives. For others, employment after Harvey remains a challenge, but a new initiative funded by the Houston-Galveston Area Council will support workforce training and education.

HGAC recently awarded two grants totaling $1.1 million to the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) and the Housing, Entrepreneurship And Readiness Training (H.E.A.R.T.) Program to help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities rejoin the workforce and continue to recover from Harvey.

Through this grant, UHD’s Center for Public Service and Community Research and H.E.A.R.T developed a Continuing Education Certificate Program to help community members advance their education and gain career-building skills. Program participants will attend on-campus classes, participate in on-campus internships, off-campus externships, and final capstone projects prior to graduation. Students will be paired with UHD student mentors, who will provide guidance and support during a three-semester course of study.

“We're grateful for this funding from the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) and excited about partnering with UHD to offer new opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities in our community,” said Jane Borochoff, executive director of H.E.A.R.T. “This partnership will afford individuals the opportunity to earn a continuing education certificate from UHD and also provide a meaningful workforce experience.”

The program will accommodate up to 80 students and begin on Monday, Sept. 24.

“This project exemplifies what our Center stands for—partnering with the community to initiate and develop collaborative relationships that bring about positive change and facilitates community-based research,” said Steven Villano, director of UHD’s Center for Public Service & Community Research.

To apply for the program, contact H.E.A.R.T. at 713-692-4278 or email Shyra Baron at sbaron@heartprogram.org. For additional information contact, Steven Villano, director, Center for Public Service & Community Research at 713-226-5244 or villanos@uhd.edu.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.