Are Companies Actually Hiring Workers without Degrees?
Companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Apple are increasingly removing degree requirements from job postings, emphasizing skills-based hiring.

TWC Celebrates Career and Technical Education Month
In celebration of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recognizes the value of CTE programs and the achievements of students who pursue high-skill technical careers in more than 750 unique occupations across the state.

Dallas-Fort Worth tops U.S. in construction job growth
North Texas added 14,800 building sector jobs in 2023.

Texas children are still struggling with math after the pandemic. Some schools are trying a new approach.
Policy experts worry students will fall short of the state's future workforce needs. Educators hope the new curriculum will help them.

Texas poised for slower job growth this year, Dallas Fed projects
Falling consumer activity and uncertainty around the 2024 presidential election could complicate the state’s job growth, a Dallas Fed economist said.

Many Texas community college students who transfer don’t finish their degrees, study says
Black students and students over 24 are less likely to get their bachelor’s degree after transferring, the report found.

TWC Announces 2024 Texas Conference for Employers Schedule
Events provide employment information and resources to Texas employers.

TWC Awards $150,000 Training Grant to Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent and Local Partners
Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent will use the grant in partnership with Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation and an area consortium group to train 407 individuals for high-demand occupations.

TWC Recognizes Workforce Solutions for South Texas for Child Care Employment Connections
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has awarded $50,000 to Workforce Solutions for South Texas through a Child Care Employment Connections Award. This performance-based award recognizes local workforce development boards (Boards) for their work in connecting at-risk parents with sufficient employment.

TWC Invites Employers to Apply for Texas Apprenticeship Program
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is awarding nearly $10 million through the new Texas Industry Recognized Apprenticeship (TIRA) grant program to eligible private-sector Texas employers.

How to Keep Employees Productive: Support Caregivers
Three-quarters of US employees are balancing caregiving with their careers. If companies could prevent five of them from quitting, they could save $200,000. Joseph Fuller offers a seven-point plan for supporting the sandwich generation and beyond.

THE EXCHANGE: HELP WANTED
Why it’s so hard to screen for soft skills—and why they’re the most critical skill in the C-suite today.

Longtime HCC leader Margaret Ford Fisher selected as system's new chancellor
Longtime higher education administrator Margaret Ford Fisher will serve as the Houston Community College System’s ninth chancellor after months of serving in the interim position.

Will AI Take Your Job? Maybe Not Just Yet, One Study Says
MIT researchers suggest that AI job displacement might be gradual rather than immediate. While computer vision AI can automate tasks equivalent to 1.6 percent of worker wages in the US, only 0.4 percent of the economy would be cheaper to automate at current costs. 

Texas Labor Market Reached Historic Highs in 2023
Texas' employment growth rate continued to outpace the nation by a full percentage point, with 2.7 percent annual growth in the state from December 2022 to December 2023, compared to the nation’s 1.7 percent.

Perryman: People and Places
New population estimates have been released, and once again Texas gained far more residents than any other state, writes Texas-based economist M. Ray Perryman.The flip side of the Lone Star State’s continued rapid population growth is that it requires significant and ongoing investments in education and infrastructure to avoid eroding our quality of life and to assure that the economic engine is sustainable.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg pours $250M to open health care high school in Dallas, others
The new schools will partner with healthcare systems as students work on training, certification and experience.

Career and technical education faces obstacles to meet demand
Challenges for these programs include lack of funds, teacher shortages and outdated stigmas, said panelists during a House subcommittee hearing.

Texas’ school ratings remain in limbo as the state and school districts fight over how strict the grading should be
Dozens of school districts sued the Texas Education Agency last fall, claiming revisions to the state’s accountability system would hurt them.

In the Texas Panhandle, a nonprofit is fighting rural child care deserts
The Amarillo Area Foundation is funding new day care facilities in Friona and Claude after the towns found that a shortage of child care is making it harder to fill job openings.

Congressional leaders announce agreement on spending levels, key step to averting shutdown
With looming federal funding deadlines on January 19 and February 2, House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to an overall topline appropriations level deal over the weekend. The deal essentially brings the FY24 process in line with the previously agreed to defense and non-defense spending levels from the Fiscal Responsibility Act (debt limit deal) from Summer, 2023. Practically speaking, that would keep FY24 funding levels in line with FY23 levels, negating previous FY24 House Republican proposals with significant WIOA/workforce development cuts.

TWC Launches MyTXCareer App to Connect Texans with Career Pathways
Free MyTXCareer app now available for download in the App Store and on Google Play.

A new way to fund Texas community colleges focuses on student success, not enrollment
A historic $683 million investment in community colleges rewards schools for getting students to complete a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year university or participate in college courses as early as high school.

Governor Abbott Appoints Three To Task Force On Consolidation Of Workforce And Social Services
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Courtney Arbour, Leslie Cantu, and Sylvia Kauffman to the Task Force on Consolidation of Workforce and Social Services for terms set to expire at the pleasure of the Governor. The Task Force was created to develop a plan for the consolidation of workforce development programs administered by the Texas Workforce Commission and safety-net programs administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Texas’ Annual Employment Growth Continues to Outpace the Nation
Texas’ labor market achieved a new record high as the state’s seasonally adjusted job count reached 14,094,900, an increase of 26,800 positions over the month of November. Lone Star State employment set new record high levels in each of the last 26 months and added 407,100 positions since November 2022, ranking No. 1 in the nation in over the year increase of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs. 

Who Transitions from Dirty to Green Jobs?
The number of workers moving from carbon-intensive (“dirty”) to noncarbon-intensive (“green”) jobs is higher than ever before—yet remains low overall. Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers can help facilitate the green jobs transition and ensure that no worker is left behind.

The Federal Reserve could do what was thought impossible: Defeat inflation without a steep recession
Inflation has been falling more or less steadily since peaking in June of last year at 9.1%.

Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement Receives $350,000 Workforce Training Grant
VIDA, in partnership with South Texas College, Texas State Technical College, Texas Southmost College, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will use these funds to provide education and training programs in high demand occupations, including healthcare and specialized trades, for 420 students.

The states that are — and aren’t — raising their minimum wages in 2024
In 2024, over half of US states are increasing their minimum wages, with 25 states and DC set to mandate raises. The federal minimum remains at $7.25, but some states, including DC, will see increases reaching $17.

Companies need working moms. This is what working moms need
Instead of lamenting the loss of mothers from the workforce, employers should better support employees throughout the full journey of parenthood, this female founder writes.

How one nonprofit is empowering people to achieve economic mobility
The Valley Initiative For Development and Advancement started in 1995 as a nonprofit to help economically empower residents in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Over the years, the organization has developed partnerships with businesses and colleges to help train residents for the local workforce and served over 600 students each year.

House Lawmakers Unveil Bipartisan Short-Term Pell ProposalEarlier this week Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) along with Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced R. 6586, the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, a bill that would allow Pell Grant funding for short-term postsecondary degree programs with the goal of aligning education opportunities with workforce needs.

THE ECONOMIST: Where the jobs are
Improving the capacity to meet future workforce needs can enhance job opportunities and, in many cases, income levels. At the same time, such improvement helps ensure that Texas will continue to grow and prosper.

More U.S. companies no longer requiring job seekers to have a college degree
In response to a tight labor market, employers are increasingly prioritizing skills over college degrees, with 45 percent eliminating degree requirements for certain roles in the past year. This shift, driven by a need for specific skills and to combat degree inflation, is more prevalent among small businesses.

Perryman: Literacy and the Workforce
Texas lags the national literacy rate by a significant margin, says economist M. Ray Perryman. Only 40% of Texas adults have literacy of Level 3 or higher, with the US rate being 46%.

TWC Awards $150,000 Training Grant to Workforce Solutions Texoma and Local Partners
Workforce Solutions Texoma will use the grant in partnership with Sherman Economic Development Corporation and Sherman Independent School District to help train students for high-demand occupations in the growing semiconductor workforce.

An effort to prepare West Texas students to work in the oil and gas industry is expanding
The expansion, which will start with a smaller pilot in four high schools between Texas and New Mexico, is being paid for by the Permian Strategic Partnership, a group funded by major energy producers.

Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas names Interim President, Ashlee Verner
With a proven track record in workforce development and a deep commitment to the mission, she brings valuable expertise coupled with her strong financial knowledge to Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas.

Will Texas build the workforce it needs?
Workforce development is a work in progress.

Texas Senate passes school choice, hardline immigration bill during late-night session
With little public notice, the Senate pushed through several controversial measures Thursday.

Governor Abbott Appoints Esparza To Texas Workforce Commission
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Joe Esparza to the Texas Workforce Commission, as the Commissioner Representing Employers, for a term set to expire February 1, 2027.