Putting education to work: The Texas Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative

Learn more about Anne Wicks.
Anne Wicks
Anne Wicks
Don Evans Family Managing Director, Opportunity and Democracy
George W. Bush Institute
Learn more about Amanda Wirtz.
Amanda Wirtz
Advisor, Education and Opportunity
George W. Bush Institute

The workforce and public education are profoundly connected. Texas depends on a talented workforce to fuel its economy, and Texans depend on our public education system to prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. But unfortunately, workforce and public education systems often operate independently, making innovation and improvement difficult.  

Texans deserve transparent, accurate, and comprehensive data about education and workforce pathways.  

Between now and 2036, when the state will observe its bicentennial, over 70% of the jobs in Texas will require a postsecondary credential. But far too few Texas students will possess those credentials. Only 22% of Texas eighth graders currently earn a postsecondary degree or credentials within six years of high school graduation. That costs them more than $100 billion in future earning potential. 

The good news is that Texas leaders are committed to addressing these challenges. Over the last several years, Texas has prioritized building a strong workforce by investing in cross agency collaboration, modernizing data systems, and making essential information about credentials public, easily accessible, and actionable. A combination of legislation and leadership made it possible for the education and workforce systems to begin working together differently to create opportunities for Texans. 

Read the full report.