AUSTIN –Workforce Solutions Capital Area announces the launch of RE:WorkNOW, a months-long, direct outreach effort to Travis County’s jobless.
RE:WorkNOW is a rapid training effort within the Austin Metro Area Community Workforce Plan, designed to assist 260 of the City of Austin and Travis County’s approximately 50,000 jobless residents connect to no-cost, rapid, and safe training.
Through Workforce Solutions Capital Area, enrollees in RE:WorkNOW training courses will be provided $200 weekly stipends, career advising and placement. Childcare, transportation, and digital inclusion will also be provided as needed and as funds are available.
“Austin’s COVID economy has meant 50,000 of our friends and neighbors are still jobless, and many are unsure what to do next,” said Tamara Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “We have restructured our training and support model to rapidly prepare residents for a new career in one of Austin’s growing industries.”
Participating training providers have restructured key training offerings into a safer virtual or a hybrid setting with support from Workforce Solutions Capital Area. Courses can take up to 12 weeks, are aligned with industry expectations, and will result in better jobs at better wages.
RE:WorkNOW offers a diverse range of trainings — in welding, HVAC, plumbing, cyber security and more — and we will add new offerings based on demand.
These no-cost, rapid training programs will be provided by Austin Community College District, Local 286 Plumbers & Pipefitters Union, Skillpoint Alliance, Digital Creative Institute, and Tech Talent South.
Space is limited, and enrollment into the approved courses is handled first-come, first served.
To learn more about RE:WorkNOW courses and take a career assessment, visit https://reworknow.org/austin.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area also launched a highly targeted outreach plan to talk directly with the local unemployed and underemployed. This is in addition to calls and emails Workforce Solutions Capital Area makes directly to the tens of thousands of jobless claimants to help guide them through their reemployment journey.
Seven months into the pandemic, unemployment in Travis County is at 6.6% — after spiking to 12.4% in April — and about 50,000 are out of work.
Recipients will be able to – in a few clicks – land at the brand new RE:WorkNow Access Hub. Here, unemployed or underemployed residents can answer a few questions and digitally connect to rapid training programs in their area of interest.
At the start of the pandemic, Workforce Solutions Capital Area saw that its training system was built primarily around a full-employment economy, where working adults would fit in training after one or more jobs and family obligations.
With unemployment rates spiking above 12% in April 2020, Workforce Solutions Capital Area realized the community needed an additional option: rapid training.
The goal of the Community Workforce Plan is to lift 10,000 local people out of poverty by the end of 2021 by providing them with the skills to obtain good jobs paying more than $40,000 annually.
Travis County and City of Austin approved $3.1 million for Phase 1 of the RE:WorkNOW in late October.
To fund Phase 2, federal stimulus talks will need to provide workforce development and state and local funds to assist in stimulating the economy.
Workforce Solutions estimates an additional $67 million will make a dramatic impact sufficient to help thousands of additional local people who have lost jobs amid the pandemic to train and start a new career.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board is the publicly-funded workforce board for Travis County. Through strong partnerships and strategic collaborations, Workforce Solutions is leading the region’s workforce system in the development of a world-class workforce.