Amarillo area business news and developments for Jan. 29, 2023 – Amarillo Globe-News

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced it is directing an additional $48 million from the Federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act to the Texas Utility Help program to support homeowners and renters who need help paying energy bills.
Through Texas Utility Help, homeowners and renters can pay off total past due utility bills for electricity, natural gas, propane, water, and wastewater, plus get up to $2,400 in prospective payments. All approved payments are issued directly to the utility company on the applicant’s behalf.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify:
Texas Utility Help also introduced a program change that adds future payments for water and wastewater assistance at $85 per month, through Sept. 30, 2023. Going forward, Texas Utility Help will send a payment to the approved applicant’s water and wastewater provider as one lump sum equal to the applicant’s past-due balance (if any), plus $85 per month for future water and wastewater bills, through Sept. 30.
TDHCA advises anyone who qualifies for water and wastewater assistance to apply as soon as possible in order to receive the maximum possible benefit. The total amount of future payments will depend on when an application is approved. Applications approved in January will have $765 for future bills, while those approved in March will have $595 ($85/month for seven months). People who applied and were approved for water bill assistance prior to the program change will receive $765 in future payments, which Texas Utility Help will send to applicable water providers this month. Applicants that fall into this category will receive an email from the program so they are aware of the credit being applied to their accounts.
To date, Texas Utility Help has distributed more than $28 million and assisted more than 13,350 households. Funding for the program comes from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and federal Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).
For more information and questions, the call center is staffed Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be reached toll free at 855-566-2057. Help is available in multiple languages.
Xcel Energy wants to remind customers that most state and national stories about the “Texas grid” are referring to the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) region that now includes Lubbock. Recent examples are news items on efforts at the Public Utility Commission of Texas to redesign the ERCOT power market.
These efforts do not pertain to areas of Texas outside of the ERCOT grid, which include most of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains regions that are served by Xcel Energy, as part of the Eastern Interconnection within the Southwest Power Pool. Southwestern Public Service Company is the legal name of the Xcel Energy operating company serving Texas and New Mexico.
For more information about Xcel Energy, visit .
For the second consecutive year, the City of Amarillo (COA) Vital Statistics Team has earned the Exemplary Five Star Award for 2022 from the State of Texas. The award marks the third time the city has received such state designation, and the first in back-to-back years.
“This is quite an honor for the City of Amarillo Vital Statistics Team. The award reflects the team’s commitment to serving the community now and in the future,” said COA Director of Finance Matthew Poston.
The Texas Department of State Health Services defines the Five Star Award as the acknowledgement of Vital Statistics Partners who understand the importance of vital statistics and its impact on the citizens of Texas. This award honors Partners who go above and beyond the duties of birth and death registration by attending trainings and keeping up with the latest legislation and trends.
Criteria include customer service goals such as registering 96 percent of birth records and 96 percent of death records in the Local Acceptance Queue within one business day between Jan. 1 of 2022 to Sept. 30 of 2022. Complete criteria for the award can be found online at:
For more information contact City of Amarillo Media Relations Manager Dave Henry at (806) 378-5219 or by email at .
Speakers for the annual Capital Farm Credit Hemphill County Texas A&M AgriLife Beef Conference have been announced by Andy Holloway, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Hemphill County. This conference, themed “It’s All About the Numbers,” is set for April 25-26 in the Jones Pavilion, 1101 N. Sixth St., Canadian. Registration opened Jan. 15.
The cost is $150 per person, and spouse tickets can be purchased for $125 if attending together. Participants can register online at, by calling 806-323-9114 or stopping by the AgriLife Extension office at 10965 Exhibition Center Road, Canadian.
The Hemphill County Ag Committee will bring in Willie Robertson from the television show “Duck Dynasty” as the keynote speaker on April 25. Businessman, outdoorsman, hunter, speaker and author, Robertson is best known as the CEO of Duck Commander on the A&E show. The speaker list also includes Troy Applehans of Cattle Fax; Dan Basse of Ag Resources; Lee Leachman of Leachman Cattle Company; Josh Worthington of Worthington Angus; Tom Brink of the Red Angus Association; Trevor Caviness of Caviness Beef; Ty Lawrence, Ph.D., of West Texas A&M University; Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director for agriculture and natural resources, Bryan-College Station; and Adam Isaacs and Jason Abraham, local Hemphill ranchers.
The conference’s 12 sessions will focus on everything from cattle markets to weather conditions to the future of the cattle business, as well as 85 trade show vendors and three beef meals.
For more information, contact Holloway at 806-323-9114 or, or Christa Perry at
DALLAS – Veryable Incorporated will sign a partnership agreement with Western Governors University (WGU), an accredited, online nonprofit university, to provide operators the opportunity to pursue multiple paths to higher education and professional development.
As part of the partnership agreement which begins Jan. 31, Veryable operators/independent contractors are eligible to apply for the WGU Partner Connect Scholarship, valued at $2,500.
Founded in 2016, Veryable Incorporated is headquartered in Dallas, operating in several states across the U.S. As an on-demand marketplace for manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing labor, Veryable partners with more than 1,500 businesses to enhance their operations through their on-demand labor model with over 250,000 skilled operators providing the labor force.
As a leader in higher education for 25 years, WGU offers more than 60 degree programs online in business, K-12 education, healthcare, and information technology. Tuition is around $3,800 per term for most undergraduate degree programs. WGU will also provide webinar training, access to career service and alumni events, materials to operators/independent contractors to ensure understanding of the educational opportunities through WGU.
For more information about WGU and all available WGU scholarships, visit . To learn more about the Veryable Inc., visit


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