On February 12, 2021, the Texas Workforce Commission honored Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFS) with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Career Pathways Award for 2020.
Capital Area is one of four boards selected for this performance award, based on the percentage of:
- Adult dislocated workers and youth participants in training;
- Increase of participants in training; and
- Training participants in training-related employment.
However, this honor comes to the Workforce Solutions Capital Area as the WIOA program — one of WFS’s most prominent funding sources — was reduced for FY21 by 15.1% on October 1, 2020. Federal funding for these services is determined by regional economic health from June 2018 to July 2019.
Many Travis County residents are still seeking work or training opportunities at a volume higher than before the pandemic, although WFS’ financial resources have been further stretched.
Offered at no cost for participants, WIOA is designed to give job seekers personalized support and training needed to find a job. To ensure trainees find jobs, WIOA provides funding for training in occupations with proven earning potential in growing industries in Travis Co, such as auto mechanics, computer support specialists, and nurses. WIOA-funded training is provided by a wide variety of certified training providers in Travis County.
Low-income adult workers and laid-off workers living in Travis County, who are usually eligible for WIOA and are most impacted by the pandemic, are more so affected as our capacity to support them decreases. 50% of the 167,000 jobless claimants in Travis County since March previously earned less than $30,000 per year. 75% made less than $50,000 per year.