Governor Perry announced his intention Tuesday to launch a Skilled Workforce Initiative in Texas to address demand for certified, highly-skilled workers in the manufacturing sector.
The initiative would reduce the time it takes for students to earn vocational certification in certain high-demand fields, such as manufacturing and industrial business. Under the initiative, certification programs will award credit to students who enter the program already possessing some experience and skills necessary for certification. Backers hope the program will allow students to get certified and begin filling jobs more quickly, while also saving them time and money by allowing them to bypass lessons on subjects they’ve already mastered.
The initiative also aims make more career tech classes available to high school students, so that they graduate ready for employment in high-demand fields. State Senator Dan Patrick has encouraged the Senate Education Committee to double the number of approved career tech courses at Texas high schools.
In the past three years, job demand in Texas’s manufacturing sector has doubled, and is expected to grow another 10 percent by 2020.