Workforce Solutions Capital Area is the non-profit organization that serves to lead and govern the Austin/Travis County area workforce system. In this role, we are responsible for the planning, oversight, and evaluation of workforce development activities in the Capital Area. Simply put, we connect local people — youth and adults — to the most in-demand industries with quality jobs.

To help us bridge our region’s skills gap, we are excited to welcome Cathy McHorse to our board of directors. Cathy currently serves as Vice President of Success by 6 at United Way for Greater Austin.

Get to know Cathy in our Q&A below, and connect with her on LinkedIn to see her extensive experience in the child care industry.

Q: Where is your hometown?

A: I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan but grew up in Rockville, Maryland. I met my amazing husband in college at Duke University (go Blue Devils!), and we moved to Austin — where he was raised — in 1991.

Q: How is WFS a go-to resource for employers in Austin?

A: I joined the United Way for Greater Austin team and began working with the WFS Child Care Program as part of our collective impact efforts in early childhood. WFS is a member organization of our Austin/Travis County Success By 6 Coalition — which United Way convenes — and our ultimate goal is that all children enter kindergarten happy, healthy, and prepared to succeed in school and beyond. A key part of our work is expanding access to high-quality child care in our communities, and WFS plays a crucial role in that.

Q: What is the value of connecting local people to local jobs?

A: This builds economic prosperity in our community and helps build and sustain a unique culture for all of us that call Austin home!

Q: How does affordable, quality child care impact employers and job seekers?

A: Affordable, high-quality child care is important to everyone! It’s important to:

  • Employers, because their employees need access to reliable, affordable care to be able to enter and stay in the workforce.
  • Employees and job seekers, because they need to trust their children are getting high-quality care while they’re at work.
  • Children, because experiences during the first five years lay a critical foundation for lifelong learning… and children are our future workforce!

Q: How does your organization support growing Austin’s workforce through local education programs and schools?

A: United Way is building an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, with impact today and tomorrow. Making an impact today, we run programs like our Parenting Students Project. In partnership with Austin Community College, we are supporting parenting students with financial assistance, child care scholarships, a peer community, advising, and more so they’re able to earn a credential, get a well-paying job, and break out of the cycle of poverty. Making an impact tomorrow, we are working in partnership with child and family advocates to transform our early childhood system. The first five years of a child’s life are foundational (when 90% of their brain develops), and investing in our future workforce in those early years is key!


Q: What does your ideal day in the Austin area look like?

A: A long walk in my neighborhood with our dogs or along the Shoal Creek hike & bike trail, breakfast taco brunch, a trip to BookPeople, and then a movie at an Alamo theater!

Q: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

A: Yep — I support out of the box thinking!

Q: Which famous person do you look up to, and why?

A: Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She broke a lot of barriers with the intention of being a voice for others. I love this quote of hers: “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

Q: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

A: In the words of Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

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