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Industry engagement in workforce development crucial, report finds

Our Gateway team is often asked how its job training programs are so successful at turning graduates into job-holders. The Gateway numbers are well above the rest: more than 80 percent of graduates finding a job in the field within 45 days and more than 90 percent graduate.

We recently found a paper, titled “Building America’s Job Skills with Effective Workforce Programs: A Training Strategy to Raise Wages and Increase Work Opportunities,” that summarized the answer well. Here’s the highlights:

  • Industry partners need to play a big role. The report warns that without industry collaboration, “newly trained or retrained workers may find themselves without the skills needed by industry, skills that are required for long-lasting labor market success.” Agreed– our Adult Workforce Council is 80 members strong, who are committed to making sure our graduates have the skills they need.
  • Training programs should be linked to the needs of the local labor market. Think about the jobs and businesses that are in Austin; are they the same as those in Dallas or Houston? Nope, and the workforce development training programs shouldn’t be either.

A big thank you goes out to all of our industry partners for making these programs what they are! If you’d like to get involved, contact Blair Wooldridge at bwooldridge@skillpointalliance.org.