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Good afternoon — hope you had a happy, safe Thanksgiving break,

Thank you for your continued partnerships! With our staff’s dedication and our community’s support, our neighbors have even more access to no-cost, rapid career retraining opportunities leading to better jobs at better wages (more below). We value your continued trust in our services and the confidence you have placed in us. I’m thankful for a community dedicated to helping connect local people to local jobs. I’m grateful for the WFS team, who wakes up every day with compassion and empathy to fulfill that mission even better.

ICYMI: See last week’s report with local insights on TWC’s newly released unemployment figures and more.

📅 Also, we hope you register for our Workshop Wednesday: College Preparation Night on December 9 from 4:30-6:00pm. We’re partnering with Foundation Communities Prosper Centers and Ascension Seton to help local job seekers prepare for what’s next. We’ll go over areas like completing their FAFSA/TASFA, resume building, financial aid 101, and college exploration using WFS tools during the workshop. Register here.

In partnership, Tamara.


Congrats to the seven graduates of Skillpoint Alliance’s Certified Production Technician program

We recently celebrated seven Certified Production Technician (CPT) graduates who earned their credentials through our training partnership with Skillpoint Alliance.

  • The CPT program is funded by Texas Mutual and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and offered by WFS in partnership with Austin Community College, Skillpoint Alliance, and the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association.
  • Students complete just six weeks of safe, virtual training at no cost.
  • Upon graduation, students can earn an industry-recognized certificate and become ready to join the growing Austin manufacturing industry.
  • After trainees graduate, WFS will help graduates find work with one of the many companies in this high-demand industry, including Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Applied Materials, and NXP.

What they’re saying:

  • Brian Schwaegel, who next plans to apply at a semiconductor manufacturer:“The most enlightening thing about this is all the different skills I learned—a lot of things I was interested to learn about but never had the resources to begin.”
  • Charles Willy, who moved to Austin from Rwanda, has always liked technology: “I started working at a technology company in Austin, but in a warehouse. I was curious about working in the cleanroom and wanted to know how to do that kind of work. With this course, I have learned that.”
  • Weston Sythoff, Partnership Manager for Skillpoint Alliance: “The connection to employment is why we do what we do. We are always working to ensure [trainees] have plenty of options to learn new skills and find employment.” 
  • Get more perspectives from grads and industry partners here.

What’s next: RE:WorkNOW Phase 1 is a rapid training effort within 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.

  • Learn more about our diverse training courses for the most in-demand industries (IT, healthcare, skilled trades, and advanced manufacturing), supports offered (e.g., $200 weekly stipends, career advising, placement, and more), and how to apply here.


‘Your reward will be to accept full-time employment’: Manufacturing and skilled trades success stories

WFS is creating a talent pipeline that will support our residents with livable wages and career progression. Tony, Abigail, and Desmond are a few of many who have started a career in our region’s growing skilled trades and advanced manufacturing industries.

What they’re saying:

  • Tony Gayles, who is hearing impaired, came to WFS for help finding a job and participated in the very first CPT training in 2019.
    • “For anyone who chooses to take training like the CPT program, stay motivated and energized until you’ve completed your courses. Your reward will be to accept full-time employment.”
  • Abigail Leighton enrolled in the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) training program through Local 286 in July to enter the trades after realizing her opportunities in the foodservice industry were limited.
    • “I have a new long-term goal, and that is to show other women that they can do this too. Skilled trades may currently be a male-dominated industry, but it doesn’t have to be. Women make wonderful tradespeople and have so much to offer to this industry.”
  • Desmond Roberson is a 2019 MC3 grad who learned about the program through American YouthWorks.
    • “I grew up around a lot of people who made mistakes growing up. When I post work videos on social media, they see me and wonder how I am able to do this.”


WFS exceeds FY20 performance requirements for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Youth program

I’m honored to report that WFS exceeded all TWC performance metrics for program year 2020 (PY20) through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth program. Through WIOA Youth, WFS provides local youth with personalized support and training needed to find a job — at no cost.

WFS served 340 youth in PY20 of the WIOA Youth program, including Brianna, who received job-readiness training through partner Goodwill Central Texas.

  • WFS tracks WIOA trainees for 12 months after serving them through the program to measure successes in credential attainment, finding/retaining employment, and school enrollment/retention. 

Details: WIOA Youth is part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, one of WFS’ most prominent federal funding sources.

  • WIOA Youth helps young people with education and employment barriers become independent and self-supporting while assisting them with basic needs.
  • WIOA offers financial assistance to eligible individuals for job search assistance, training, and other support services.
  • WIOA is designed to help job seekers (laid-off workers, youth, and adults) secure the employment, education, training, and support services necessary to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

Yes, but: Amid a four-fold increase in demand for reemployment services, the WIOA program’s funding was reduced by 15% on October 1, 2020 due to outdated federal funding formulas.

  • Federal funding for these services is determined by regional economic health from June 2018 to July 2019.
  • Lower-income residents, laid-off workers, and recent high school grads living in Travis Co, who are usually eligible for WIOA and are most impacted by the pandemic, will be more so affected as our capacity to support them decreases.
  • This is the third year in a row that WFS’ WIOA funding has decreased.
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