Public Policy Priorities
The Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board (the Board) serves as the leadership and governing body for the local workforce development system. The Board sets the strategic direction and policy framework for the workforce development system. The Board also serves as an advocate for workforce issues and needs. As thought leaders, we work in partnership with business, education, labor, economic development, community-based organizations and other community groups to advocate for and support public policies and legislation that impacts workforce development and the health of our region’s economy.
The Board’s Community Engagement Committee (the Committee) monitors, analyzes and responds to public policy and legislative initiatives at the federal, state and local level. The Committee takes the lead in educating the Board and our community partners on current workforce development issues and initiatives. The Committee coordinates expert testimony and provides data and educational materials for hearings and other public policy forums.
By advocating public policy and legislative initiatives, the Board’s intent is to build a pipeline of qualified, skilled workers that meet the needs of regional employers and contribute to the competitiveness of the region’s economy.
For information on specific bills, please visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/.
Public Policy Priorities for 86th Texas Legislative Session
The Board supports:
- Increase funding for the Texas Workforce Commission's Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Program to assist public community and technical colleges and independent school districts with start-up costs of equipment purchases or upgrades for CTE programs.
- Expand the Texas Workforce Commission’s Skills Development Fund.
- Expand apprenticeships and internships for high school and post-secondary students and incentivizing and/or removing barriers for businesses, including:
- providing employer tax credits for employers providing internships for high school and community college students that are aligned to the demand occupations in the local region.
- increased funding of Texas Workforce Commission’s Apprenticeship Training Program (ATP), to meet the growing demand for skilled workers.
- increasing apprenticeship and internship opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Expand dual course study programs, certificate programs and workforce continuing education programs at both high school and middle school levels.
- Increase the availability of Career & Technology Education (CTE) programs in public community and technical colleges and independent school districts, and the promotion of the opportunities that can result from CTE.
- Continue to support the Texas Workforce Commission’s High Demand Job Training Program.
- Provide greater access to and support for training and employment opportunities and programs, including:
- eliminating unnecessary barriers for Ex-offenders to obtain occupational licenses required by the State.
- permitting Ex-offenders to access on-line training and education and general studies courses.
- reforming the requirements to shorten/combine curriculum necessary for obtaining occupational licenses required by the State.
- Encourage/support partnerships between school districts and employers such as P-TECH and early college high school academies.
- Expand and fund quality full day early pre-kindergarten programs for eligible children in formula funding.
- Increase state formula funding for Texas community colleges, focusing on outcomes for low-income and high-need individuals.