One of the frustrating things about periods of high unemployment is that there usually are lots of jobs available. Many of those jobs require workers with skills so specific that employers will only consider applicants who carry recognized certification of their abilities.And there are people who have experience in the tasks necessary for those job but fall short of the certification requirements.Those are the people and problems targeted by Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday when he announced a new Skilled Workforce Initiative.It's not the first program aimed at producing qualified candidates for the needs of today's increasingly skilled Texas workforce -- in fact, there are many. But Texas is big state with a variety of needs, and Perry's plan will help.It's a collaboration involving Perry's office, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas State Technical College, a technical-vocational training institute with campuses in Waco, Harlingen, Marshall and four sites in West Texas (Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater).Initial funding of about $1 million will come from existing budgets of the partner agencies.Targeting at first the needs identified by companies in state's growing manufacturing sector, TSTC is to develop programs to "quickly and affordably allow workers to translate existing skills into targeted certifications," the governor's office said in a news release.Perry announced the initiative at TSTC's Harlingen campus, saying the plan is to "target the needs of specific groups, such as veterans, displaced workers and career-focused high school graduates," many of whom "already have specialized training and valuable real-world experience in these fields but lack certification."That's similar to the mission of College Credit for Heroes, a program started by the workforce commission last year under a legislative initiative lead by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. That program aims to turn military experience, education and training into college credit hours for veterans and members of the military..Seven community colleges in counties with the highest number and concentration of veterans -- Harris (Houston), Bexar (San Antonio) and Bell (Killeen/Fort Hood) -- are partners in College Credit for Heroes.In a report to be presented to the Legislature during the session that begins Jan. 8, College Credit for Heroes says participating veterans and service members receive on average 34 semester hours of college credit in academic, workforce and other fields because of their prior training and experience. That's about a year's worth of college credit, which gets them that much closer to joining the active workforce.College Credit for Heroes formed an alliance with the Medical Education and Training Campus at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. METC has 64 health training programs for enlisted members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and trains about 21,000 students a year.METC students and instructors can earn credit toward degrees from College Credit for Heroes partner colleges.College Credit for Heroes also targets training for five other industry clusters: advanced technologies and manufacturing; aerospace and defense; information and computer technology; petroleum refining and chemical products; and energy.Those same industries are likely targets for Perry's Skilled Workforce Initiative. They're all expected to need more skilled workers in coming years.Texas had an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent in October, workforce commission data show. That's significantly better than the national rate of 7.9 percent. Private sector employers have added 269,000 jobs in the past year.Those are encouraging numbers. But they still mean more than 790,000 Texans are unemployed. That leaves plenty of room for improvement, and matching skills with jobs is the key.