AUSTIN –The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) earmarked funding for a comprehensive statewide strategy to end the middle skills gap in Texas. Due to technological advances in the workplace, employment demand has dramatically increased for individuals with middle skills, defined as workers with some education beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. TWC, the state agency charged with promoting and supporting the state’s workforce, will direct up to $9 million in grant funding for job creation, job preparedness, and job progression activities to help put more Texas workers on a path to a career in a rewarding middle skills job.
“The Texas economy is expanding and there are more than 800,000 jobs available for workers with the right skill set,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Many of these jobs require very short-term training or education but can connect Texans to a lifetime of increased career potential and earnings.”
Eligible activities under the initiative include: a career pathways app for students and job seekers, one-on-one job coaching, training and certifications in high demand occupations, and a mobile credential tracker.
“Technological advances give us the opportunity to leverage talent and resources to address this gap in local communities across Texas, giving our workforce the tools they need to succeed,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Expanding our TWC programs with special emphasis on middle skills ensures all job seekers in Texas have resources and opportunity for upward mobility.”
The Ending the Middle Skills Gap initiative builds on existing TWC programs and services, which are available to all Texans through https://www.twc.texas.gov/ or through 180 Workforce Solutions Centers around the state.
“Supporting initiatives to address the middle skills gap is critical for Texas employers and job seekers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Working with our partners to develop more career pathway opportunities helps all Texans, including transitioning foster youth and people with disabilities which ultimately assist in creating a more successful economy in Texas.”
The agency earmarked additional funding for virtual reality technology to support career exploration, short-term training for parents of children in TWC’s child care program, outreach efforts, training and certifications in advanced trades/manufacturing, expanding the adult early learning math call center, and providing remedial math assistance for applicants in the registered apprenticeship program. Furthermore, the agency will leverage new and existing programs to optimize participation of foster youth and people with disabilities. The agency will bring the package back for final approval.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.