Greater Austin Chamber and business leaders meet with Congressional lawmakers to talk education and workforce

Posted on 09/07/2017 by Austin Chamber of Commerce

On September 6, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce along with 25 business leaders from six southern states gathered in Washington, D.C. to speak to U.S. Senators and Representatives regarding the importance of education and workforce.

The meeting comes after the announcement of President Trump’s recently signed executive order to increase the number of apprenticeships in the U.S and proposed 2018 budget cuts. The proposed budget cuts would impact workforce and education programs that support apprenticeship programs in the United States.

In partnership with Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU), the meeting allowed business leaders the chance to provide congressional lawmakers workforce strategies that are proven, time-tested ways they can hire qualified and skilled employees locally to promote job generation and growth. These strategies included the need for Congress to invest in and support work-based learning opportunities, on-the-job-training, and worksite components that include career and technical education.

“In August, Central Texas had over 39,100 available job postings,” said Kwee Lan Teo, Vice President of Talent Development and Acquisition for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. “Two-fifths of these postings require no formal credential or high school equivalency needed for entry. However, most require on-the-job training or related work experience. Higher paying tech jobs account for 18 percent of all of Central Texas job postings. Providing opportunities for high-quality programs using Pell Grants can help more people enter these in-demand careers and allow Central Texas employers to hire locally.”

Since 2004, the Central Texas region has experienced 503 relocations, 835 company expansions, and the addition of more than 351,300 jobs. The need for smart policies that support employers, nurture our workers and invest in the working success of our city is listed in the Greater Austin Chamber’s federal agenda.

Employers also advocated for expanding financial aid options for nontraditional but career-oriented students who want to earn credentials or certificates in an in-demand field. The group also urged Congress to make it easier for students taking high-quality noncredit programs to qualify for Pell Grants, especially those seeking certifications in high demand fields.

To read more about the Chamber’s public policy efforts, click here.

Related Categories: Public Policy