Texans: Ready to Work
Jobs once considered “blue collar” now involve sophisticated, highly specialized technology and knowledgeable workers. Here’s what Texas has done to upgrade the skills of its workers, so they can prosper in this emerging economy:
- Texas high school career and technology education has become more expansive and rigorous in recent years. About 941,000 Texas public school students were enrolled in a career and technology program in the 2006-07 school year.
- More than half of the state’s 1,967 associate of applied science degree programs allow high school students to earn college-level training.
- More Texas public schools are teaming with higher education institutions and area businesses to form “academies” in areas such as business and health sciences, aerospace, and information technology.
- Texas’ community colleges and universities are finding innovative ways to prepare students for the work force. The University of Texas-Pan American has created a Rapid Response Manufacturing Center to pursue advanced manufacturing technologies designed to bring new products market quickly, and to make the South Texas region the foremost provider of workers trained in cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.
- The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), in partnership with 28 local work force development boards, offers a variety of services through more than 260 centers and satellite offices located throughout the state. In fiscal 2007, TWC provided training services to more than 77,000 Texans.
- The Texas Skills Development Fund, which provides state funding for employee training, awarded $25 million in grants in 2007 that generated nearly 7,100 new jobs and provided training to 13,758 workers.
Specialized Work Force Training for Tomorrow’s Demands – High school students are earning professional certifications or college credits before graduating.
San Antonio Technical Tracks – Alamo Community College District, civic leaders, local school districts and companies are teaching hands-on technical skills in high school.
High-Tech High School in Manor – Technical training is a high priority for tomorrow’s work force.
Rapid Response Manufacturing Center – The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) opened its new Rapid Response Manufacturing Center on April 11. The unique and innovative research center will speed the concept-to-customer process by helping companies plan, design and prototype new products while also developing and recruiting the skilled talent needed for an advanced manufacturing infrastructure. Learn more in this press release about the center.
- College for All Texans
- Texas College Savings Plan
- Texas Education Agency
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
- Texas Workforce Commission
- SOCRATES (Standardized Occupational Components for Research and Analysis of Trends in Employment System)
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics