Every year, Texas spends more than $100 billion on its education-to-workforce system, yet often employers struggle to locate the skilled talent they need to grow their businesses and too many Texans struggle to earn wages sufficient to meet the needs of their families. Addressing this joint problem – for both working Texans and for Texas businesses – will require that all state government entities that play a role in preparing our fellow Texans for the workforce collaborate and listen to the employer community.
We are encouraged by the actionable steps taken to date by the Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Texas Workforce Commission to improve joint planning, integrate agency workflows, and listen to stakeholder guidance. The role of government in these issues is best served when tax dollars are spent efficiently and businesses have minimal governmental barriers to creating new jobs that pay good wages.
To ensure that the strong start provided by these agencies can reach its full potential, Texas 2036 joined a group of stakeholders in submitting comments addressing the following four areas:
- The first section addresses the agencies’ need to define a “self-sufficient wage” under Texas Gov’t Code 2308A.012 to guide the goal-setting process.
- The second section proposes alternate goals language, including specific targets for measurable metrics, as well as a new goal for the Tri-Agency’s Priority 1 on pathways.
- The third section proposes alternate goals language, including specific targets and deadlines for measurable metrics, for the Tri-Agency’s Priority 2 on student supports.
- The fourth section proposes alternate goals language to clarify and highlight specific data improvements for the Tri-Agency’s Priority 3 on infrastructure.