City of Austin places local workforce programs on hold

City of Austin places local workforce programs on hold

Posted By Greater Austin Chamber | Nov 17, 2017
Education and Talent, Public Policy Print Article City of Austin places local workforce programs on hold

Approval of workforce development audit causes city to rethink investments for 2018-2019 budget cycle

On November 15, Austin City Council approved the audit report of its workforce development programs during the Audit and Finance Committee meeting.

Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, Council Member Alison Alter of District 10, Leslie Pool of District 7, and Ellen Troxclair of District 8, unanimously supported the audit’s findings and recommendations. The City of Austin will reevaluate its workforce development program funding for next year and come to an agreement on how to better manage city investments.

Workforce funding allocated during the 2017-2018 budget year will continue. City staff is expected to provide final recommendations on workforce funding next year in June, for the following budget cycle.

Currently, the City of Austin invests over $6 million towards workforce programs which have little impact on affordability in the city. The audit report, conducted by the City’s Auditor’s office, found that contracts are not being centrally managed and the city’s investments barely connects residents with the top ten in-demand certifications in the Austin region. The auditor’s office also reported that the City’s investment amount may be larger as the term “workforce investment” is defined differently amongst at least eight city departments. 

The Greater Austin Chamber, through its Opportunity Austin initiative, has long advocated for better outcomes pertaining to investments made towards workforce development in the region. This includes an across the board performance metrics with clearly defined outcomes for invested workforce development funding.

The Workforce Development Audit was sponsored by Council Member Ellen Troxclair and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo. The audit looked into the city’s workforce development contracting efforts to see how effective the efforts were at achieving outcomes and preparing employees for jobs that match the needs of the Austin job market.

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Greater Austin Chamber

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.