Workforce Solutions Capital Area (Austin, TX) – Master Community Workforce Plan
The Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area has experienced unprecedented economic growth and prosperity for decades. However, much of the region’s population has not shared in that prosperity. The area has rapidly become less affordable for residents—including those with jobs—as housing costs have continued to outpace wage growth. At the same time, employers have struggled to find the candidates they need due to a combination of the region’s tight labor market and the skills mismatch that has faced much of the country.
To help address these challenges, TIP was engaged to prepare a five-year Master Community Workforce Plan for Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFSCA), the workforce board serving the Austin area. TIP’s work was focused in three areas: 1) identifying specific actions to support the Master Plan’s goals and strategies; 2) engaging the business community to assess their hiring needs and challenges (with a specific focus on middle-skills occupations in healthcare, IT, and skilled trades); and 3) helping WFSCA staff build capacity and skills to serve as the “backbone” organization for the plan’s implementation. This project represented the continuation of a year-long effort undertaken by a working group comprised of leaders from an array of regional economic development, workforce, and education and training organizations to assemble relevant data and start preliminary strategy development. The resulting plan laid out a common agenda and established a framework for coordinating the efforts of the region’s workforce development organizations and educational institutions.