As part of an effort to combat unemployment numbers, Pflugerville community leaders have accelerated a campaign to attract more skilled labor to the area.

During a Nov. 5 press conference at the 70,000-square-foot Rosendin Electric, Inc. regional headquarters facility—a $3 million capital investment that brought 84 jobs to Pflugerville—City Council Member Rudy Metayer joined Amy Madison, the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation CEO, and Skillpoint Alliance Executive Director Kevin Brackmeyer to amplify continued outreach efforts to recruit new high-skilled jobs to Pflugerville.

"As of this morning, the U.S. Department of Labor jobs report shows that unemployment is down 4.6%, but it is expected that Pflugerville will still be among the highest rates of unemployment in Central Texas," Brackmeyer said. "The irony of that is that, more than ever, there are better paying careers and career opportunities that Pflugerville residents could have and should know about with free training that only takes four to six weeks at max."

Through a partnership with the PCDC, Austin-based nonprofit Skillpoint Alliance is working to get the word out about local opportunities for workers in electrical and other related fields, Brackmeyer said.

A major part of expanding outreach locally is letting people know about upcoming classes in those fields that Skillpoint is offering, including 35 openings for classes beginning in early 2022.

Metayer pointed to a glaring economic contradiction in Pflugerville, for which data show the city has one of the highest unemployment numbers in the region, but at the same time has an average household income of $108,000.

"How often do we talk about—particularly in our region of Central Texas—two different lifestyles, two different wages all encompassing the reality that we have here in our region?" Metayer asked. "Pflugerville is one of the fastest growing cities in our country. With that growth comes a need for development and opportunities for our citizens ... not just in our region, but right here in Pflugerville."

Echoing Brackmeyer and Metayer, Madison said 69% of unemployment claimants in Travis County have less than an associate's degree, but employers are still unable to find entry level technicians because of an industry skill mismatch.

Madison pointed to Rosendin Electric, which in 2019 announced a relocation of its Texas and California regional headquarters to Pflugerville, bringing with it dozens of local jobs at a minimum average salary of $75,000.

Three of those jobs went to Skillpoint Alliance graduates, Madison said.

"One thing we've had is programs available, but what we haven't always had is being able to reach those individuals that really are either out of work or underskilled that would be candidates for the [Skillpoint Alliance] program," she said. "So, we are amping it up and providing a better venue for them to hear and learn about the opportunities that Skillpoint offers specifically for Pflugerville area residents and employees."

To learn more about opportunities through Skillpoint Alliance, click here.