6/19/2012 - Austin News Feature Labor Market and Job Training Programs in Texas

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The Sunday edition of Austin American Statesman on June 17 featured two stories by Brenda Bell discussing efforts made in Texas to help low-income families achieve skills and economic security. Comments from Dr. Chris King, director of the Ray Marshall Center, were highlighted in both articles. 

The first story, appearing on the paper's front page, "In Texas, working poor families struggle to get ahead," discusses the difficult realities low income families face in Texas and the efforts made by the state and nonprofit sector to help these individuals. Bell notes, Texas ranks last in the U.S. with the percentage of adults 25 or older in a state with a high school degree. Moreover, the state ranks third in terms of share of its hourly workforce earning minimum wage or less. Federal, state and local government support to improve labor outcomes in Texas has declined, noting that the state legislature's main job training program fell from $44 million to $1.2 million in just one year. Debates continue to exist in Texas between providing people with short-term training to gain employment versus longer-term training in higher skill jobs for greater economic potential and security. Bell highlights Capital IDEA's program to help people gain certifications and employment in the healthcare sector. Capital IDEA is a nonprofit that provides remedial education, postsecondary education, skills certifications, and counseling support to help low income adults get ahead. To read the full story, click here

To view a video overview of Capital IDEA, click here.

Bell's second piece profiles several participants of Capital IDEA's program, mostly single women and single moms, the realities and challenges they face, and plans that they are working towards. In this piece, the Ray Marshall Center's exploratory analysis of Capital IDEA's return on investment was highlighted. To read the full story, click here.

Ray Marshall Center

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