Annual Report 2023

How Austin’s Hire Local Plan data and Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s performance proves training and wraparound services are an intermediary to affordability.


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From Our Leaders

I am immensely proud of the tangible impact Workforce Solutions Capital Area has had on our community by prioritizing local hiring initiatives. When we empower and support local talent, we not only bolster our regional economy, but also cultivate a stronger sense of community pride and resilience to thrive throughout the inevitable evolutions of our workforce needs.”
Tamara Atkinson


It was an honor to help launch Hire Local and experience the difference it made for thousands of Austinites. Every job filled or training completed represents a life changed, a family supported and a community uplifted.”

Melanie Flowers

Immediate Past Board Chair

I am grateful for the opportunity to carry such a strong vision forward for the future reinforcement of our talent pipeline. My commitment to job seekers and employers is not just about filling vacancies, it’s about connecting people to life-changing opportunities in Austin’s highest-growth industries.”
Mark Sherry

Board Chair


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Hire Local History

March 2017

Launched Austin Metro Area Community Workforce Plan

Created a first-of-its-kind common agenda and framework for a more demand-driven, collaborative workforce system; evaluated training and wage outcomes from 2017-2021
November 2021

Conducted community engagement sessions to shape next plan

With the Community Workforce Plan's evaluation window passed, Workforce Solutions Capital Area directly engaged community members and organizations in long-range planning and programming activities
April 2022

Launched Austin's Hire Local Plan

The next Community Workforce Plan iteration broadened the aperture to better define the region’s capacity for training and create an affordability index
November 2022

Final year analysis for Community Workforce Plan completed

Evaluated training and wage outcomes for Oct 2020 - Sept 2021.
April 2023

Adopted Mobility + Infrastructure as Newest Target Industry

Based on Workforce Solutions Capital Area's outlook on the future workforce needs and growth of this region
Sept 2023

First analysis of the Hire Local Plan completed

Evaluated Austin metro area training and wage outcomes from Oct 2021 through Sept 2022.


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Hire Local Year 1:
Training and Wage Impacts


Workforce Solutions Capital Area partners with Skillpoint Alliance to fund students in their electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and certified production technician (manufacturing) programs, which have completion rates above 90%.

About Hire Local

The Hire Local evaluation seeks to understand whether the size and efficacy of the training and completion pipeline meets the region’s needs, and, given the high cost of housing and living, whether those who complete local workforce training and education programs find employment that allows them to live nearby.

This data provides information on workforce education and training enrollment, completion, employment, and earnings intended to begin the process of tracking and understanding the local workforce pipeline. New measurement tools intend to provide a more accurate portrayal of the impact of the workforce system, including change in income, which measures the share of employed completers who experienced an increase in earnings, and earnings distribution, which looks at earnings thresholds beyond poverty (e.g., whether individuals earn enough to afford the rent for a local one-bedroom apartment) to more accurately measure participant perception of program success.

Evaluation Period

Oct 2021 – Sept 2022 (FY22)

We track wage and employment outcomes a full year after training completion for the most complete ROI and training outcomes.

Why the lag in data?
Evaluation Focus Industries

Healthcare, Information Technology, Skilled Trades and Manufacturing (includes industry-supporting business roles)

Workforce Solutions Capital Area regularly analyzes the regional labor market, looking for industry and occupational trends. Based on our analysis, we have identified the most in-demand industries and occupations, which guides the investment of workforce program funds for training.

Why these industries?



14,870 residents enrolled in focus industry training and education programs. Nearly half were younger than 21. A near equal share entered skilled trades/manufacturing, healthcare, and business programs, and slightly less entered IT programs.

  • 85% less than 40 years old (41% less than 21)
  • 50% male | 50% female
  • 38% Hispanic
  • 37% non-Hispanic White
  • 12% non-Hispanic Black
  • 27% skilled trades and manufacturing
  • 26% healthcare
  • 25% business
  • 19% information technology

Completion & Employment


4,548 Austin metro residents completed training. Of them, 71% found employment in a training-related field within the first quarter post-completion, up two points from last year.

  • 71% overall
  • 78% healthcare
  • 72% skilled trades and manufacturing
  • 66% business
  • 65% information technology

Increased Income


Of Austin’s training completers who found employment, nearly all (85%) experienced an increase in their income in the first quarter post-completion compared to their average quarterly earnings the year prior to enrolling. For those who found employment, their post-program wages increased more than 254%.

  • $2,740 a year prior to program entry
  • $9,711 post-program
  • $11,616 business
  • $10,015 information technology
  • $9,672 skilled trades and manufacturing
  • $9,160 healthcare

While earnings for employed healthcare workers are the lowest across sectors, completing participants in those programs actually received the highest change in income compared to their pre-program earnings, making $2,105 more (a 335% increase) once they completed training and found employment.

Reducing Poverty


Rather than focus on a single measure of income to determine success, the Hire Local evaluation considers multiple earnings categories to provide a clearer portrait of the success and Austin-area affordability. There is significant evidence that the region’s workforce system as measured by Hire Local is moving in the right direction.

  • After training, the share of completers with no earnings or earning below 200% federal poverty guidelines (FPG) was significantly reduced, while the share of those earning above 200% FPG increased in every category.
  • The share of individuals able to afford (on their own) the average rental price of a one-bedroom apartment more than tripled from their pre-training employment, from less than 1 in 20 to more than 1 in 10.


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Beyond Training:
Workforce Solutions Capital Area Impacts

Our CEO Tamara Atkinson joined Paul Fletcher, CEO of Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area and Adrian Lopez, CEO of Workforce Solutions Alamo, at the State of Workforce & Education Summit to shed light on how to bolster the workforce ecosystem across our organizations and the region generally.
About Us

We connect local people to local jobs in a variety of ways aside from training. This includes K-12 career education and outreach, tailored business solutions and convening employer-led sector partnerships, and child care scholarships and child care quality improvement initiatives, and many others.

Evaluation Period

Oct 2022 – Sept 2023 (FY23)

Awareness & Enrollment

Workforce Solutions Capital Area has built a robust pathway for high school graduates to enter in-demand training and education programs through our K-12 efforts.


Students served

with career activities in and out of the classroom such as career exploration events, field trips to industry work sites, summer internships and more


ISD partners

Austin, Del Valle, Elgin, Manor & Pflugerville


Campuses supported


Educators participated in annual Teacher Externship Program

alongside 39 employers, leading to industry-led lesson plans to support students in developing academic and technical skills required for the workforce


CareerQuest 2023

Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Education Service Center Region 13 hosted 1,800 bright minds from Austin, Del Valle, Elgin, Manor, and Pflugerville ISDs to explore the endless career possibilities of Austin’s hot job market in tech, healthcare, manufacturing, skilled trades, and mobility + infrastructure.

Job Placement

Our tailored solutions at various levels of support assist employers with awareness-raising, training, placement, and upskilling


Employers served


Hiring events

5,531 job seekers & 1,002 employers attended


Hiring Red, White, & You!

We participated in the statewide Hiring Red, White, and You! hiring event series, connecting veterans, transitioning military, and military spouses with Texas employers. Workforce Solutions boards across the state host events in partnership with the Governor’s Office, Texas Veterans Commission, and Texas Medical Center.


We assist frontline workers in acquiring skills to advance into higher-paying mid- and upper-level jobs


Invested in upskilling in Central Texas

through partnerships with employers to get new workers certified on the job or experienced workers trained for higher level roles within their companies


Registered apprenticeship programs supported

4 in healthcare, 2 in adv. manufacturing, 1 in information technology


Nursing Grads Are Increasing Each Year

Through our healthcare industry sector partnership, the Central Texas Healthcare Partnership (CTHP), Austin has taken a community approach to addressing the nursing workforce shortage. Through combined efforts, Austin has almost doubled the number of nursing graduates in the last five years, with a continued rise expected.

Child Care Services

We promote positive child outcomes


Average annual wage increase of parents receiving child care assistance post-program exit


Children received child care scholarships

Including 4,248 children considered low income and 566 experiencing homelessness


Child care providers contracted


Providers raised to higher Texas Rising Star quality rating

4,902 providers and teachers trained/mentored


Children enrolled in Continuity of Care program

Funded by City of Austin / Travis County to bridge any gaps in eligibility for local parents


Jeanette Watson Wage Supplement recipients

Helps early childhood professionals continue to work in a field where wages are not commensurate with other skilled positions


Worth of books and equipment donated to providers

196 providers received donations to increase the quality of education


2023 Child Care Employment Connections Award

We were honored to be recognized by the Texas Workforce Commission for our critical support to help Austin-Travis County parents. This performance-based award recognizes local workforce development boards for their work in connecting at-risk parents with sufficient employment.


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Top 10 Workforce Moments of 2023

2023 was a monumental year for our local workforce and Workforce Solutions Capital Area! Looking ahead, our goal is to continue making a positive difference in the lives of job seekers and employers.

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