More Central Texans are enrolling in training programs that boost wages and fill gaps in the region’s labor force, an April 17 report from Workforce Solutions Capital Area found.

The breakdown

The 2023 Hire Local Report analyzed job placement and income increases of those who completed training programs in the Austin metro from October 2022 through September 2023.

Of the 4,548 Austinites who completed training:
  • 71% found a job in their field within the first quarter of graduation.
  • 85% saw wage increases within the first quarter of program completion. The average wage increase among program completers was 254%.
  • The share of students able to afford an average-priced one bedroom apartment in Austin more than tripled from their pretraining employment.
The report also found that more Central Texans are utilizing training programs compared to previous years. Workforce Solutions served 17,186 students in 2023, 3,591 more than in 2022. Further, nursing graduates almost doubled in the past five years, from 596 in the 2018-19 school year to 1,076 during the 2022-23 school year.

The details

Workforce Solutions has data on programs from Skillpoint Alliance, Austin Area Urban League, Austin Community College, Goodwill Central Texas and other organizations. Workforce Solutions officials said the data represents most, if not all, training programs in the region.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area works with training providers to fund student’s training and provide support along the way. Most programs are free and available during flexible hours for those who need to work while going through a training program.

The context

The report comes as Mayor Kirk Watson announces plans to create an Infrastructure Academy in Austin that aims to better connect program graduates with jobs related to the I-35 widening plan, Project Connect and the airport expansion.

Austin will need 4,000 additional skilled trades and manufacturing workers each year through 2040 to fulfill its list of capital projects, and Watson is calling on Workforce Solutions, Skillpoint Alliance, Austin Community College and other groups to get residents trained and hired.

“With global companies bringing major projects to Central Texas and local businesses aiming to hire skilled local talent, Workforce Solutions Capital Area is helping residents prepare for these in-demand jobs,” said Mark Sherry, board chair for Workforce Solutions Capital Area, in a news release.

Dig deeper

The full report is available here.