Credentials: CEO Margaret Spellings delivers remarks about Texas’ high-demand jobs

The following remarks on credentials were delivered by Texas 2036 President and CEO Margaret Spellings during her appearance at the Education Ecosystem Discussion at the University of Texas System on Dec. 9, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Thank you, Chancellor Milliken. It’s an honor to be here with Sen. Cornyn, you, Chancellor McCall and Lisa – all great leaders addressing the current and future needs of Texas and our nation.

As the Chancellor said, I have the privilege of leading Texas 2036, the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization building long-term, data-driven strategies to help secure our state’s prosperity through our bicentennial and beyond. One of our key differentiators is using hundreds of data sets to form the backbone of our policies.

That is why I am here today to launch a new dashboard showing the growing number of new credentials available to Texans seeking new skills for high-demand jobs.

Credentials like Grow with Google certificates can play an important role in providing Texans alternative education options. But with an estimated 24,000 credentials currently available in Texas, current and future students need comprehensive, and easily understandable, information about the choices available to them, so they can customize for their careers, schedules and budgets. This starts with data.

With the support of Google and the Computer & Communication Industry Association, we at Texas 2036 have launched the Privately-Issued Credentials Initiative dashboard to make sure private credentials are available to the students across the state through public databases. More information can be found on our website

I’m proud to say that 115 credentials, ranging from IT to project management, were included in our initiative.

I’d like to thank Google, Dell, Amazon, Microsoft, CompTIA, CertNexus, and Salesforce for their partnership, and we welcome others to join us in the future to build out this public resource.

This work is only beginning. The initiative provides the proof of concept that employers are willing partners in sharing credentials with the public. Now, we need to help millions of Texans understand how these credentials can build their futures.

Texans need information like whether these credentials count for credit and how multiple credentials might stack towards an associate or bachelor’s degree. They also need to know what career paths will become available and whether they can support their family with the potential wages.

Texas can do this thanks to the Texas Tri-Agency’s ongoing efforts to create the state’s first public credential library where all Texans can view this information. We’re glad to provide them with our data in support of their work.

And, finally, this would not have been possible without Credential Engine, who created the nation’s first centralized credential registry and made our data publicly available. They are also helping lead on federal legislation to procure funding that would replicate Texas’ credential transparency efforts throughout the country. Staying the course with this work can allow Texas to be a blueprint for the nation in credential transparency.

The work continues, but we are thrilled to be here with so many of our state’s leaders working to bring together the sensible center to think long term about the most important things using tons of data.

Thank you.