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Good afternoon Austin friends,

ICYMI: TWC reported local unemployment numbers became worse last month. Per TWC’s data released last week, September unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis Co rose from 5.7% in August to 6.6% in September, representing 49,706 jobless residents. The overall August Austin-Round Rock MSA rate is slightly lower at 6.4% or 80,838 unemployed residents, according to TWC.

The latest:

  • 62% of Austin’s live music venue respondents said they could close by October, along with 55% of bars and restaurants, in aJuly survey by the Hobby School of Public Affairs.
  • The Governor allowed for County Judges to determine whether bars can reopen to up to 50% capacity. But they’ll remain closed in Travis County at least until Oct 28, with Judge Biscoe citing a local increase in coronavirus hospitalizations.
  • 80,000 Central Texans still out of a job may go without further government support checks for the next few weeks unless the White House and Congressional lawmakers agree on and vote to enact a stimulus deal. Currently, Texas unemployment weekly benefits range from $69 to $521.
  • We remain hopeful lawmakers will come together with plans that can help those in need 1) support themselves and 2) get rapid skills for employment in growing sectors of the economy.
  • Locally, thanks to Travis County and City of Austin support, Workforce Solutions will initiate a County-wide digital outreach effort, to complement our personal outreach, to link the jobless into an initial set of restructured, rapid, safe training programs in IT, advanced manufacturing and skilled trades.

We’re seeing a lot more need for our help than a year ago. To better meet the demand, we’re focused on improving access to our services to local job seekers, businesses, parents, and students. Below, get a first look at our new website and learn more about how we are connecting Austinites to hiring employers.

In partnership, Tamara


Workforce Solutions Capital Area revamps website to better serve job seekers, employers, parents, and students

To better serve affected workers, struggling businesses, parents, and students, I’m excited to announce we revamped our website.Get a first look at some of our new features:

  • NewsroomStay up to date with my reports, our news releases, and media mentions.
  • Reports & Insights: Get the latest UI data and our program reports, with more industry insights to be added soon.
  • Youth Services: See how we help young people complete their education to find and retain employment.
  • Employer Services: See how we can help your company find, hire, train, and retain skilled workers.
  • Coming soon: An archive of our Success Stories — collaborative awareness campaigns, key industry partnerships, trainings, and more.

How you can help: This is a soft launch, and we’re continuously optimizing as we go. Your feedback is essential to help make our website better.

  • Browse our site and let us know what you think by using the “Feedback” tab.

What’s next: In addition to the individuals who receive job training and employment through our rapid retraining program, WFS is developing a technology platform with the capacity to connect thousands more to local resources and a better future.

WFS in the news: Last week, we were honored to help drive the conversation on Austin employment and how we’re helping connect neighbors to training, childcare, and jobs:


Texans are returning to work, and guiding them is Workforce Solutions Capital Area

The Texas Workforce Commission voted to reinstate work search requirements beginning November 1. Texans receiving jobless benefits ranging from $69 to $521 per week, must complete three work searches per week to continue receiving benefits, according to TWC. Workforce Solutions is here to help Travis County residents virtually and in person at our three career centers. We can assist with work search, interview prep, training opportunities, getting labor marketing information, and more. Interested residents can begin by contacting their nearest Career Center.

  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and we’re inviting Austin residents with disabilities to connect virtually with employers at the HireAbility Capital Region Job Fair on October 27 from 9 am to 12 pm.
    • Adults and youth interested in employment and internship opportunities can register to attend here.
    • We invite your organization to participate! To sign up for your free virtual booth, go here.
    • Our thanks to our event partners: Texas Workforce Commission – Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Goodwill Central Texas, and Education Service Center Region 13!
  • Austinites interested in starting a business or working for one will find the resources they need at How to Hire and be Hired on October 29 from 9 am to 3 pm.
    • We partnered with the City of Austin’s Small and Minority Business Resources department and the Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance to host this virtual experience.
    • Job seekers can network and connect with employers hiring for open positions all around Austin.
      • Job seekers can register to attend here.
      • Hiring employers can sign up for a free booth here.
    • This event will offer panels with Austin business pros talking about:
      • What is Entrepreneurship: Benefits vs. Challenges to Running Your Own Business (sign up!)
      • Resources for Small Businesses (sign up!)
      • How to Plan for the Unforeseen: What do You Protect? (sign up!)
      • Technology, How Much Will You Need it for Your Business? (sign up!)
    • Watch a video invitation from Aaron Demerson, Commissioner Representing Employers for the Texas Workforce Commission.
  • Texans transitioning from uniformed service to Austin’s skilled workforce can attend WFS’ Hiring Red, White & You! on November 5 from 10 am to 2 pm.
    • This annual statewide event, hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission, focuses on veterans, transitioning military, and their spouses, but is open to the general public.
    • Job seekers can register to attend here.
    • We welcome your organization to participate! Sign up for your free virtual booth here.
    • Want to know more about Hiring Red, White & You in Central Texas? We banded together with four neighboring workforce boards to host 5 unique job fairs on November 5, covering 36 counties from Waco to San Antonio.

How you can help:

  • Please help us share these opportunities. Your partnership with us helps to strengthen our region’s economic ecosystem.
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