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This research project focuses on the key challenges and issues of building a workforce development system in Texas. The report is divided into three parts. Part I provides background information helpful to understanding the evolution and current status of workforce development reform in Texas and at the national level. Part II examines the key policy and implementation issues surrounding the development of the new workforce system, including the likely effect of decentralizing decision-making to local workforce boards and contracting out for services, the ways in which recent federal welfare reform threatens to overwhelm Texas' workforce system , and the importance of defining school-to-work and integrating it into the system. Part III looks to the future of workforce development in Texas, including new programs and legislative initiatives. The workforce reform efforts of the six other states included in this study are discussed in the appendices at the end of the report. This section begins with a description of the methodology and criteria that were used to select these states from an original pool of 15 states.
The findings were used to fashion recommendations that will facilitate further implementation of the system in Texas. Most of these recommendations are directed toward the Texas Council on Workforce and Economic Competitiveness and the Texas Workforce Commission.
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