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 85th Texas Legislative Session

The Board supports:

  1. Early Childhood: Making Quality Full Day Early Childhood Education available to as many children as possible – at the very least to all children who would qualify for Prekindergarten.

    Related Bills of Interest

    • HB 196 (Companion HB 1858, SB 35): Relating to providing free full-day prekindergarten for certain children.
    • HB 710: Relating to providing free full-day prekindergarten for certain children.
    • HB 1845 (Companion SB 484): Relating to the availability of free prekindergarten programs in public schools.
  2. Youth: Increasing Career Education and Exploration opportunities at elementary and middle school levels, providing opportunities for a broader array of high school instructors/teachers with industry experience, and providing sufficient funding for public schools to hire and provide current professional development information to career development advisors to better assist students with career and high school track planning.

    Related Bills of Interest

    • HB 136: Relating to inclusion of career and technology education and workforce training in the mission of public education.
    • HB 395: Relating to the career and technology education allotment and the essential knowledge and skills of the career and technology education and technology applications curriculums.
    • HB 588: Relating to the establishment of a grant program for promoting computer science certification and professional development for public school teachers.
    • HB 1700 (Companion SB 154): Relating to the establishment by the Texas Workforce Commission of a career and technical education workforce specialist pilot program.
  3. Youth: Increasing Dual Credit Study Programs and Certificate Programs for high school and middle school students so they graduate with an associate degree, credit toward a degree, and/or an industry-recognized credential.

    Related Bills of Interest

    • HB 380 (Companion HB 639): Relating to authorizing the purchase of certain insurance coverage by public school districts for the benefit of businesses and students participating in career or technology training programs and providing for immunity from liability of certain public school students participating in career or technology programs.
    • HB 1237 (Companion HB 1842, SB 22): Relating to the establishment of a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program and to the repeal of the tech-prep program.
    • HB 1545: Relating to the acceptance of certain high school courses to satisfy part of the training required to obtain a peace officer license.
  4. Adults: Initiatives that provide greater access to Training and Employment Opportunities for Ex-Offenders, including eliminating unnecessary barriers to obtaining occupational licenses required by the State.

    Related Bills of Interest

    • HB 86: Relating to providing a sales and use tax refund or franchise tax credit for businesses that employ former offenders.
    • HB 91: Relating to a review of occupational licensing requirements related to an applicant's criminal history.
    • HB 548: Relating to the consideration of criminal history record information regarding applicants for employment.
    • HB 577: Relating to the authority of a political subdivision to adopt or enforce certain regulations regarding whether a private employer may obtain or consider an employment applicant's or employee's criminal history record information.
    • HB 1981: Relating to the consideration of criminal history record information of applicants for public employment or an occupational license.

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