We have all heard of "skills gaps" and according to many workforce pundits, it
is the #1 issue affecting economic and job growth. Skills gap, as defined by
the U. S. Department of Labor, Career OneStop Business Center is "the gap between
what employers need and what job seekers are offering."
The short answer to the issue may be to train workers to fill the jobs requiring
specific technical skills and knowledge. And, partnering closely with local school
districts and training institutions can prove invaluable when it comes to developing
the pipeline of future workforce. There are many ways to approach this workforce
dilemma and in Texas and we have experienced the success of these methods:
- Early College High School: Courses of study, which enables a student to combine
high school courses and college-level courses to earn either an associate degree or at
least 60 semester credit hours. Student are able to gain skills and be more prepared to
join the workforce in high demand/high wage occupations.
Registered Apprenticeship Program: Learning a skilled occupation through paid
on-the-job training under the supervision of a journey level craft-person or
trade professional combined with related classroom instruction. Apprentices are
paid workers that receive hands-on career training in many different industries.
On-the-Job Training: For workers who already possess some job-related skills
and knowledge to "learn as they earn". Employers can benefit by being reimbursed
up to 50% of a worker's wages during the training period, while having the services
of a full-time employee.
Skills Development Fund: Providing local customized training opportunities. Collaborate
with other businesses, public community and technical colleges and Workforce Development
Boards. Grants for a single business may be limited to $500,000.
Skills for Small Business: Small businesses can apply to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)
for training offered by their local community or technical college. The programs allows $1,800
for each new employee being trained and $900 for existing employees.
Helmets to Hardhats: Helps military service members successfully transition back into civilian life
by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry. Employers
register and post jobs with this national database of Veterans with skills that are in-demand
in the industry.
S&B Engineers & Constructors has found success in hiring unskilled workers and, with a combination of
classroom enrichment and on-the-job experience, creating the workforce they need to complete
on-going projects. The advantages include being able to attach the trainee to the job site,
provide other 'soft skills' such as financial literacy, and help create a well-rounded person,
not just a worker.
We have plans to expand the Teacher Externship Initiative and launch other innovative industry projects
to develop the talent pipeline in Southeast Texas. Workforce Solutions continues to collaborate with
employers, training entities and educational institutions to ensure we understand and provide solutions
to our manpower needs, now and in the future.
Information references: https://helmetstohardhats.org/about-us/";