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In the modern labor market, there is an increasing role for third‐party, industry‐based certifications that are recognized by employers. Research conducted by the Texas Workforce Investment Council defined industry‐based certifications as being industry‐recognized, third‐party assessed, and nationally portable credentials.
The Council's research also found that many middle-skill science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations, which require education and training beyond high school but less than a four‐year degree, are not only in‐demand, but often provide higher wages compared to non‐STEM jobs with similar educational requirements. Occupations that have potential for growth in the Austin/Travis County region are also identified in the Council's research.
Read the Industry-Based Certifications for Middle-Skill STEM Occupations in Texas report.
The Council welcomes feedback on the list of industry-based certifications included in this report. If you know of a third-party, industry-based certification for a middle-skill STEM occupation that employers value that is not on the list, and would like it to be considered in the future, please forward the following information to MSSOIBCfeedback@gov.texas.gov:
The Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan (MCWP) Baseline Evaluation Report was conducted by The Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at the University of Texas at Austin.
This report seeks to determine which relevant workforce development services and training the five major community-based organizations in our region (Workforce Solutions Capital Area, Goodwill Central Texas, Skillpoint Alliance, Capital IDEA, and American YouthWorks) and Austin Community College District provided during the baseline years (2013-2016) to measure the scale of efforts along with the outcomes of participants, including program completion, employment, and earnings.
As the region continues to implement the MCWP, this baseline evaluation report serves as a reference to how the workforce system functioned prior to this effort and provides accurate baseline figures with which to compare results of ongoing and future regional coordination and collaboration.
Read the Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan Baseline Evaluation Report.
This study was commissioned by the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA) and by the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Additional support came from Austin Community College, City of Austin Economic Development, and Workforce Solutions Capital Area.
The 2017 Central Texas Manufacturing Workforce Study consists of two components:
Read the 2017 Central Texas Manufacturing Workforce Study
The Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan, established in June 2017, outlined the current challenges with employer research and the upskilling initiatives for employees. In partnership with Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s ongoing study, LEAP Consulting (graduate business students from Concordia University – Texas) researched Austin-area healthcare employers in order to assist Workforce Solutions Capital Area specifically in learning more about other companies’ tuition reimbursement plans and the barriers to employee participation in these programs.
LEAP Consulting interviewed 10 employers, and developed a policy applicable to both tuition assistance program participants and employers who do not yet offer such programs, and is scalable for companies of varied size. The policy's intention is to provide recommendations to employers which aid in effective program administration and to overcome tuition assistance usage barriers.
Research findings are reported in the form of a method overview, data findings, promising practices, and concise recommendations to employers.
Read the Tuition Assistance Utilization Study
Travis County lies at the heart of one of the country's best performing economies. During the past five years, employment in Travis County and the broader Austin region has increased at twice the national rate of growth. Since 2012, employers in the Austin region have added nearly 170,000 jobs, more than 70% of which have been within Travis County. During this period, the Healthcare industry grew by 16,000 workers and was one of the largest job creators in the region.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area commissioned the Healthcare Industry Analysis to better understand the labor market landscape and discover potential strategies to increase alignment between regional supply and demand for middle-skill healthcare careers. Early convenings of the Central Texas Healthcare Partnership found that middle-skill healthcare occupations are of particular concern in the region.
Report 1: Workforce Supply & Demand Analysis
Report 2: Workforce Alignment Strategies
The overarching vision of the Master Community Workforce Plan is a more demand-driven workforce system that effectively engages employers, community-based organizations, and educational institutions and successfully prepares economically disadvantaged residents for good jobs in high-demand, middle-skill occupations. Building on this vision, Workforce Solutions Capital Area is collaborating with several key stakeholders in the manufacturing sector – including the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA) – to develop a strategy that simultaneously addresses the skill and hiring needs of manufacturing companies while also creating pathways to good jobs for Central Texas residents.
The goal of this study, conducted by consultant Real WorkForce Solutions, was to develop an asset map of education and training programs located in the Austin-Round Rock MSA that are helping students and workers acquire the skills and credentials needed by the regional manufacturing employers. Of particular interest were the high-demand occupations identified in ARMA’s 2017 Central Texas Manufacturing Workforce Study as well as programs leading to National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)-Endorsed Skills Certifications.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires workforce boards to develop a four-year plan that identifies and describes policies and procedures for the provision of workforce services, as well as local activities that are in line with the Texas State Plan.
The Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Local Workforce Development Board Plan for Program Years 2017-2020 (the Plan) outlines the provision of program services in Travis County, Texas and highlights coordination with other programs and agencies, including Adult Education and Literacy and Texas Workforce Solutions, Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
The Plan also provides labor market information and analysis, and identifies industries expected to grow in our local economy. This analysis is used to develop the Target Occupation List that becomes the basis for the training programs we are able to fund through our workforce services.
The Plan was developed openly and made available for public comment for 30 days in Spring 2017. Comments submitted during the public comment period that represent disagreement with the Plan were submitted with the Plan to the Texas Workforce Commission in Spring 2017.
At the two-year mark in 2019, we updated the Plan per WIOA requirements to reflect changes in the labor market and economic conditions that affect implementation of the Plan. The updated Plan is available below for public viewing and comment for 30 days from January 30, 2019.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available, upon request, to persons with disabilities. Relay Texas: 1.800.735.2989 (TDD) / 711 (Voice).
Equal Opportunity is the Law