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Window on State Government

Workforce Task Force

April 18, 2000
Comptroller's Office Hears Workforce
Concerns in San Antonio
Business, labor and government must work together to provide a better educated workforce for the future in Texas, according to testimony heard at an e-Texas workforce public hearing in San Antonio.   More-->

Sonceria "Sonny" Messiah-Jiles
Task Force Commissioner

Texas' workforce development system is designed to serve all Texas workers and job-seekers as well as more than 431,000 employers. The system includes 11 state agencies, the state's public universities and community colleges, the Governor's Office, county judges, mayors, local school districts, four federal agencies, local service providers, community and nonprofit organizations, proprietary schools, labor unions, employers, employees, job-seekers and students. These are stakeholders in a system that provides eligibility determination services, job training and training grants, literacy training, child care, subsidized employment, tax credits, unemployment insurance, on-the-job training, vocational education, job posting and placement services, labor market information, skills standards certification and enforcement and interpretation of labor laws.

Texas will invest about $2.9 billion in the state's workforce development system in fiscal 2000. Of this, about $1 billion or 34 percent is appropriated to the Texas Workforce Commission. Another $618 million represents the Texas Education Agency's investment in secondary career and technology education, adult education and the Windham School System (the prison school system). Post-secondary career and technology education will receive about $794 million, while workforce services for individuals with disabilities account for another $318 million. Federal funding will supply 47 percent of the $2.9 billion total.

The state workforce development system crosses many subject-matter boundaries, including education, taxes, economic development, and human services. For the purposes of the team's review, the system will be considered to include those programs whose primary mission is to improve employment outcomes. The one exception will be child-care grants, since these are funded primarily by federal job training funds and administered by the Texas Workforce Commission and local workforce development boards.

A number of basic questions will help frame the team's mission. What should the state's role be in a workforce development system? What will Texas employers need by 2020 in terms of skills and workers? In what ways does the structure of the state's workforce system impede progress toward meeting the needs of employers? If it is true, as some have said, that 75 percent of today's workforce needs retraining, how should Texas respond? Should the system devote more attention to moving Texans beyond entry-level jobs?

e-Texas is an initiative of Carole Keeton Rylander, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Post Office Box 13528, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas

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