Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan Baseline Evaluation Report
Authors: Greg Cumpton, Cynthia Juniper, and Ashweeta Patnaik
Date: October 2018
Publication Type: Report, 86pp.
Executive Summary: The Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (Austin Metro Area) is undergoing a period of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity. Total employment in the region grew more than 20% between 2010 and 2015, and the median household income increased by almost 20%. However, not all residents of the Austin Metro Area share in this prosperity.
The Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan (MCWP) lays out a common agenda and establishes a framework for collaboration to coordinate the efforts of the region’s workforce development organizations and educational institutions. The overarching vision for this plan focuses on a more demand-driven workforce system that effectively engages employers, community-based organizations, and educational institutions; empowers residents to more efficiently match employers’ skills needs; and successfully prepares economically disadvantaged residents for good jobs.
The MCWP estimates that over the next five years, the Austin Metro Area will seek more than 60,000 middle-skill jobs including both new and replacement positions. Of these middle skill openings, just over 50% stem from just three occupational sectors which compose the primary, though not exclusive, targeted industries as part of the MCWP: healthcare, information technology, and skilled trades. For the region’s economically disadvantaged residents―those who earn less than 200% FPG, many of whom are currently employed―this prospective job growth represents better economic opportunity provided they obtain the skills and credentials required to find higher earnings employment.
This report employs a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative examination, including the five major community based organizations providing services [Goodwill, Capital IDEA, American YouthWorks, Skillpoint Alliance, and Workforce Solutions Capital Area] and Austin Community College in its role as a deliverer of workforce training and education. All organizations shared individual-level data linked to Texas Workforce Commission’s Unemployment Insurance wage records to examine outcomes. This report seeks to determine which relevant services and training the region provided and establish unduplicated records across the workforce system during the baseline years to accurately measure the scale of efforts along with the outcomes of participants, including program completion, employment, and earnings. As the region continues to implement the MCWP, this baseline evaluation report serves as a reference to how the system functioned prior to this effort and provides accurate baseline numbers with which to compare results of ongoing and future regional coordination and collaboration.