Information is generally underrated as an economic development tool.
Right now, nearly 2 million Texans are collecting unemployment relief. Especially as many contemplate seeking out new skills and retool for new industries, they need to know what career paths offer the most opportunity.
Similarly, colleges and universities can play a critical role for these Texans in need, offering them degree, certificate and training programs that are most likely to connect them with jobs. But they need to know from employers what skills are most needed so they can market and emphasize those programs to prospective students.
That requires better communication between higher education institutions and employers in both the public and private sectors. Those employers, in turn, have to do more to tell colleges and universities, on a broad scale, what skills are needed and what jobs are available.