April 19


Project Quest's big gamble

​ Hungry to expand its job-training efforts, Project Quest Inc. took a risk in 2009 with much more potential downside than its administrators realized at the time.

Two years ago, the nonprofit, whose mission is to bankroll training for good-paying jobs, learned it had landed a $500,000 state grant; it quickly began enrolling low-income San Antonians in nursing programs in anticipation of the money – before knowing either the eligibility standards for the then-new Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program or the terms of the contract with state Comptroller Susan Combs’ office, the grantor.

“It would allow us to grow the program to where we wanted it to be,” Quest Executive Director Mary Peña said.

She added: “We took a risk in enrolling these students. It didn’t pan out.”

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