3-minute read

Good afternoon Workforce Solutions Capital Area Friends and Allies,

What’s happening in the Austin metro job market:

  • Workforce Solutions Capital Area has officially launched Phase 1 of RE:WorkNOW (more below), which will rapidly and safely reskill 260 City of Austin and Travis County residents into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. 
  • New research shows the expiration of the $600/week unemployment stipend led to a 50% to 100% increase in “financial fragility” — a measure of how close to the edge families are living — among the unemployed.
  • Though Majority Leader McConnell called for an additional federal stimulus package to be completed before the end of the year, there’s clearly uncertainty on its prospects. Under current law, expanded unemployment support (i.e., PUA, PEUC) provided through the CARES Act is due to expire on Dec 31, meaning workers who have exhausted their regular benefits or are not typically eligible for unemployment benefits will no longer receive payments.
  • Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said Thursday the pandemic-hit economy will recover at a slower pace without additional stimulus from Congress.

Also, we’re looking forward to our Trade Up Texas hiring event on Thursday, Nov 12. This annual event will help students and job seekers explore skilled trade careers with Central Texas employers. Many thanks to Texas Mutual for making this possible, and we’re partnering with KVUE, Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, Local 286, and Austin Regional Manufacturing Association. Please share this event with your network, or register for your free virtual booth! 

Below, you’ll find the latest unemployed to available jobs comparison for Austin, an extended RFI for the RE:WorkNOW effort, and an honor I’m very proud of looking ahead to Veterans Day.

In partnership, Tamara

? RE:WorkNOW Brand Kit: Help spread the word about our no-cost, safe, and rapid training opportunities.
Use the brand kit to download branded images and copy-and-paste-able messaging for you and your organization’s email and social media networks.


In Austin’s job market, talent demand is still unmet in the most in-demand industries

Comparing September’s jobless talent (latest available) in Austin MSA to available jobs as of September 31, we still see a much larger need for talent in the high-demand Healthcare and IT sectors than hospitality jobs, as in our August comparison. We also see a pronounced need to retrain entry-level workers previously in face-to-face jobs into higher-wage jobs in growing industries.

  • IT: There were 3.8x more open job postings than jobless residents previously in this sector.
    • Top jobs: software developers (2,707), web developers (551), and computer systems engineers/architects (539).
  • Healthcare: There were 2.7x more open job postings than jobless residents who previously worked in this sector.
    • Top jobs: RNs (1,588), nursing assistants (366), and LVNs (353).
  • Skilled trades/manufacturing: There were 1.6x more unemployed people than open job postings.
  • Yes, but: Comparing the pre-pandemic month of February with September, Austin Chamber reports the metro’s manufacturing industry continues its job growth (1.4%). It has also added jobs faster than average over the last 12 months (4.4% growth). And experts say the relocation of companies like Tesla is expected to bring more jobs and companies to Austin than expected.
  • Food service, retail, and accommodation: There were 1.8x more unemployed people than open job postings.
    • The greatest number of job losses, and greatest percent change, over the last year in the Austin metro happened in leisure and hospitality (23.4% or 31,800 jobs).
  • See breakdown ↗️

Of note: More than one out of every three jobless claimants from March to October 2020 have a high school diploma/GED as their highest degree attainment.


Workforce Solutions Capital Area posts RFI for Rapid Retraining

To extend our recently launched RE:WorkNOW effort, WFS is seeking requests for information to develop further a list of eligible training providers who can work in a multi-service, team-based approach and provide rapid, safe, high-quality training sequences aligned to employer expectations for local jobs in growing industries, and which can lead to higher wages.

  • Learn more here (Deadline: Ongoing until closed by WFS).

How you can help: Please consider responding to our request or sharing it with your colleagues. Feel free to email me with any questions.

Details: RE:WorkNOW Phase 1 is a rapid training effortwithin the Community Workforce Plan, designed to help 260 of the City of Austin and Travis County’s approximately 50,000 jobless residents connect to free, rapid, and safe training.

  • Participating training providers have restructured key training offeringsinto a safer, more intensive virtual or a hybrid setting, with support from WFS.
  • Courses can be completed in as little as six weeks, are aligned with industry expectations, and will result in better jobs at better wages. 
  • Enrollees will receive $200 weekly stipends, career advising, and placement through WFS. Childcare, transportation, and digital inclusion will also be provided as needed. 
  • On the RE:WorkNow Access Hub, unemployed or underemployed residents can answer a few questions and digitally connect to rapid training programs in their area of interest.

WFS in the news:


Workforce Solutions Capital Area earns third consecutive “We Hire Vets” award

WFS is thankful to earn recognition for the third year in a row for committing to hiring veterans with the “We Hire Vets” award from TWC. Aaron Demerson, Commissioner Representing Employers, recognized WFS and two other employers as We Hire Vets recipients at a live event on Thursday. Representing WFS was Internal Communications Director David Olson, who served in the U.S. Navy for five years and reached the rank of petty officer second class.

  • In 2018, we became the first workforce board in the state to receive this recognition, and we are honored to be awarded again.
  • 11% of Workforce Solutions Capital Area Board employees are veterans.
  • Our veteran employees served in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and have a combined 19 years of service.

The big picture: Supporting Texas veterans is part of our mission. 

  • Veterans receive priority for job and training referrals at our three Career Centers.
  • Career specialists at the centers are specifically trained to help veterans of the U.S. military achieve maximum employment and training opportunities.

Of note: On Thursday,we participated in Hiring Red White & YOU!, an annual statewide event hosted by TWC. This year, we partnered with four neighboring workforce boards to host five unique virtual hiring experiences for Texans who served.

  • WFS reached more employers and veteran job seekers than ever before due to our multi-board partnership and increased accessibility.
  • We hosted 305 attendees and 69 vendors advertising 451 jobs. 
  • 251 out of the 305 attendees were veterans or spouses of veterans.

What’s next: Our outreach to Austin’s veterans continues with a Virtual Hiring Expo on Nov 19 from 10am to 4pm. We partnered with the City of Austin and the Austin Chamber for this event, part of the City of Austin’s Joint Veteran and Family Career Week.

  • Veterans, transitioning military, and their spouses can register to attend here.
  • We invite your organization to participate! Register for your free interactive booth here.
  • Joint Veteran and Family Career Week is an initiative of the Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. Learn more here.
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