Workforce Solutions Capital Area announced a plan to bring higher-paying jobs to Austin residents while helping local companies close the “skills gap,” or the need for more highly qualified employees, in the area May 31.

The Hire Local Plan will encourage Austin-area employers to fill their employment pool from residents with the help of WFS, which will provide training and certification programs to local workers through support from Travis County and the city of Austin.

“It is inspiring to witness such a groundbreaking initiative that ensures there is qualified, skilled labor in Central Texas,” Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion said. “Travis County has an enviable pipeline of talent supporting our wide range of industries, and we’re thankful to Workforce Solutions Capital Area for their dedication to bringing that level of talent to new heights.”

Mayor Steve Adler said the program is a key to growing the skill base of local workers, which will in turn help more Austinites remain in the city as prices rise.

Adler said 71% of Austin residents are participating in the workforce, up from the prepandemic benchmark, and the unemployment rate is 2.5%. Both those facts point toward Austin residents wanting to work.]However, he said more skill training is necessary to match workers with the influx of jobs into the city.

“I can tell you when companies come in, if we don’t have the talent they need, they will bring it in, and we don’t want outside communities filling the talent pipeline as much as we want to fill it locally,” Adler said.

Individuals who go through the job training program are expected to earn $30,000 more than they are currently, Adler said.

Information on the scholarships can be found at