Research and Reports

The Council publishes a range of annual, biannual, and occasional reports, papers, evaluations, and articles that examine workforce-related program areas, initiatives, and outcomes. Included in these publications are reports required by state law that the Council prepares annually for submission to the Governor and the Legislature. The reports below are listed in alphabetical order. Prior year publications can be found in the Publication Archive.


Advancing Texas: Strategic Plan for the Texas Workforce System (FY2010–FY2015)

Approved by Governor Perry on October 23, 2009, Advancing Texas was created using the systems approach to workforce planning first incorporated into the previous plan, Destination 2010. The plan provides a systems perspective and increases the Council’s ability to identify key areas to target activities that would improve and enhance system performance, reduce redundancy, and assist workforce partners in working more cohesively toward the overall mission of the Texas workforce system. (September 2009) Summary of Advancing Texas


American Competitiveness in the 21st Century and Key Texas Initiatives

This paper documents emerging and prevalent themes on the challenge of strengthening the education and skills of the workforce in order to sustain and strengthen American competitiveness. (June 2006)


Apprenticeship in Texas

First released in 2005, the Apprenticeship in Texas brochure is produced by the Council through its Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee. The brochure’s intent is to increase awareness by policymakers and apprenticeship stakeholders of the apprenticeship training program funded with general revenue funds under Chapter 133 of the Texas Education Code. (May 2017)


Career Awareness Model

This guide details a sequential model of information and activities to support student and parent understanding of educational and career options. This model was developed by a workgroup composed of representatives from the Texas Education Agency, Region XIII Education Service Center, and the Texas Counseling Association. The workgroup used Council research that documented promising practices in Texas schools identified as having outstanding efforts in providing both students and parents with information about educational and career options. These state practices were then validated using national best practices. (June 2013)


Career Technical Education and Outcomes in Texas High Schools - A Monograph

The monograph was developed to support the Council’s work on career technical education (CTE) in Texas. It provides basic information about CTE, including relevant legislation and funding, a brief history of CTE, and the impact of CTE programs. Additionally, improved academic outcomes associated with CTE are highlighted using data for Texas high school students. (April 2013)


Defining Middle-Skill Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Occupations in Texas

This report presents a process to identify and classify middle-skill STEM occupations. National attention has largely focused on STEM workers with at least a four-year degree, often overlooking and understudying critical middle-skill STEM occupations. In order to address a key objective in the workforce system strategic plan for Texas, middle-skill occupations identified as STEM by various empirical sources were consolidated to create a comprehensive list of occupations. This report also provides relevant background information, describes classification principles, analyzes selected critical occupations, and details the process for developing a middle-skill STEM occupations list important to the Texas economy. (December 2015) Summary of STEM Occupations Report 
Analysis of STEM Occupations by SOC Codes and Titles


The Demand for Middle-Skills Jobs in the United States and Texas

This report examines the importance of middle-skills occupations in the context of current workforce challenges, both in the United States and in Texas. Middle-skills jobs require people to have education or training beyond high school, but less than a four-year baccalaureate degree. These occupations include technicians and operators along with skilled craft and trade workers. (June 2008)


Demographics and Trends of the Texas Welfare Population: Report 2005

This report analyzes the population and caseload trends of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the State Program, the cash grant program for two-parent families. (March 2006)


Destination 2010: FY2004–FY2009 Strategic Plan for the Texas Workforce Development System

Published in September 2003, when the Council recommended and the Governor approved the third system strategic plan. During development, the Council focused on the system as a whole and on the opportunities and challenges faced by system partners and stakeholders in preparing a skilled workforce for Texas in the 21st century. (November 2003) Archive


Employer Services Briefing Paper

In association with the Council’s System Integration Technical Advisory Committee, several partner agencies have worked since 2007 to increase their efforts to become more familiar with employers’ awareness and perception of existing services to more effectively meet employer needs. The Employer Services briefing paper provides information on employer-focused workforce activities administered by partner agencies and the local workforce boards. (May 2014)


2015 Survey of Texas Employers

This report addresses concerns expressed by employers about skills and qualifications perceived to be missing in the labor market in Texas. Administered by the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M, 2,738 employers responded to the online survey. These responses provide sufficient variation for analysis across employer size, industry, and location. The report provides insight into what types of workers are needed, what skills and qualifications are required, and what types of job openings have proven most difficult to fill in the past 12 months. It also provides insight into perceived deficiencies of workers linked to level of educational/training attainment including credentials such industry-based certifications, licenses, and apprenticeships, as well as the need for students to engage in work-based learning to gain experience required for employment. (December 2015) Summary of Texas Employers Survey


Employer Surveys

First undertaken in 2002, the Council periodically surveys Texas employers regarding their interaction with workforce programs and services. The survey focused on gathering information about how Texas businesses use system services; how satisfied they are with the services offered by the system; and how important employers feel those services are to their individual efforts to obtain and maintain a qualified staff. Request Information


Evaluation 2016

This report is the first annual evaluation report for The Texas Workforce System Strategic Plan FY 2016–FY 2023. The focal point is a balanced scorecard that presents outcome and 13-year trend data for system performance. Through the delivery of multiple workforce education and training programs, state and local system partners served over 4.6 million individuals in the last reporting year. Of those participating in workforce system programs and services, almost 500,000 individuals completed a degree, certificate, or other measure of educational achievement. Over 1.5 million Texans who participated in a workforce program found a job, stayed in a job, and/or enrolled in further education or training. (December 2016) Summary of Evaluation Report  Archive


The Gig Economy in the U.S.

This report provides an overview of the U.S. gig economy. As part of the Council’s continuing research on workforce-related issues, the gig economy has been identified as a growing segment of the workforce. The report defines and classifies gig workers, examines the types of activities these workers participate in, and addresses the potential implications that this segment may have on the workforce system. (March 2017)


Issues in Welfare to Work

Provides information to legislators, policymakers, and other interested parties on the impact to Texas of the federal TANF program. This report analyzes changes in the TANF reauthorization legislation and outlines the possible effects upon Texas’ TANF and Choices programs. The report includes options and makes recommendations for action by the Texas Legislature or by the administering state agencies. (December 2006)


Legislative Update

Informs readers about emerging federal legislation and policy related to the Texas workforce system, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and federal appropriations as they affect workforce programs. (September 2017) Archive


Mature Workers in Texas: A Demographic Study

This report provides information about mature labor force participants in Texas, specifically those 55 years and older. The research can be utilized as a primer to understand the significant issues related to mature labor force participants and as a reference for data about this specific segment of the population. (June 2017) Summary of Mature Workers Study


People with Disabilities: A Texas Profile

This report details the demographic characteristics of the population of individuals with disabilities for both the U.S. and Texas. Individuals with disabilities experience numerous challenges associated with participation in the labor force. The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is higher than for individuals without disabilities. Individuals with disabilities strengthen the Texas labor market and are a valuable resource for Texas employers. (June 2016) Summary of Disabilities Report


Potential Regional Economic Boundaries in Texas: An Analysis in Light of Current Patterns and Linkages in Business Activity

Report prepared for the Council by The Perryman Group. The purpose of this report is to provide an updated analysis of the State and its economic regions to inform the discussions of state and local leaders as they seek to position Texas’ regions to compete successfully in a global economy. (December 2007) Summary of Texas Regions Report


Profiles in Success is a series of reports on various education, training, and workforce programs and, in particular, the participants in these programs. By spotlighting individual success stories, Profiles provides insight into the way the Texas workforce system positively impacts people’s lives.


Registered Apprenticeship as a Strategy to Meet Employer Demand for Skilled Workers

This final report from the Council’s apprenticeship project leadership team summarizes pilot apprenticeship projects conducted under the workforce system strategic plan, Advancing Texas. The purpose of the projects is to design, deploy, and implement pilot programs that demonstrate the flexibility of the earn-while-you-learn model of traditional apprenticeship programs. (December 2013)


Research to Support Strategic Planning

This compendium is a compilation of research on various workforce issues. It was created to provide information to Council members and agency partners in anticipation of the strategic planning sessions that will occur in fiscal year 2015 for development of the 2016-2021 workforce system strategic plan. Topics referenced within the compendium relate to many of the priority issues raised by the Council’s member agencies during listening sessions during the lead-up to the formal strategic plan development process. (June 2014)


Texas Index

First released in 2005 and produced annually, the Index provides trend data for a series of indicators across four domains or categories: Training and Education; Research and Development; Market Composition and Characteristics; and Participant Access and Contribution. The Index contains four critical, interrelated elements: intellectual capital; human capital; financial capital; and an enhanced standard of living for Texas’ citizens. The publication tracks Texas’ longitudinal performance against other states and nations. (December 2013) Summary of Texas Index


Texas Workforce Investment Council Annual Report

First released in 2006, the Council’s annual report summarizes the activities and products of the Council during the previous fiscal year. (December 2016) Archive


Texas Workforce System Program Directory

Provides basic information about the workforce education and training programs that form the Texas workforce system. These programs, administered by eight state agencies, prepare Texas’ current and future workers for success in the global economy. (November 2017)


The Texas Workforce System Strategic Plan FY 2016–FY 2023

Approved by Governor Abbott, the strategic plan for the Texas workforce system was developed by the Texas Workforce Investment Council and its system partners over a twelve-month period from September 2014 to September 2015. Texas Government Code, Section 2308.104, charges the Council with developing a single strategic plan for the state’s workforce system. The plan is intended to guide system partners in implementing workforce programs, services, and initiatives designed to achieve the strategies, system objectives, and goals that are outlined in the plan. (September 2015) Summary of Strategic Plan  Infographic


Tracking Industry-Based Certifications: Promising Practices in Capturing Data on the Workforce Supply of Industry-Certified Workers

This report presents national practices for tracking postsecondary data and information for awards other than two- and four-year degrees. Specifically, it focuses on third-party, industry-based certifications. Identified as key credentials for a highly skilled future workforce, industry-based certifications are the focus of a system objective in the new strategic plan of the Texas workforce system. This report details relevant definitions, national efforts, and selected case studies to aid in the achievement of the system objective. (June 2015) Summary of Industry-Based Certifications Report


Update to Advancing Texas

Approved by Governor Perry on May 24, 2012, includes current versions of all action plans and associated agency-specific project plans. (March 2012)


Veterans in Texas: A Demographic Study

This study provides a demographic overview of veterans for both the U.S. and Texas. A demographic description of the U.S. veteran population is first presented to provide context for the analysis of Texas veterans. The Texas veteran population is then detailed with a focus on disabilities and the characteristics of veteran labor force participants. The veteran population is a valuable resource for Texas employers and the Texas economy. (September 2016) Summary of Veterans Study


Welfare to Work Initiatives in Texas

First released in 2000, this report was created to satisfy the mandate that requires the Council to provide an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature that analyzes work development programs that focus on welfare to work initiatives. In the first several releases, this was a stand-alone report that provided an overview and update on the programs and initiatives that serve adult recipients of TANF cash assistance. Information on each program included purpose, population served, types of services, and the numbers served. In 2010, information and data from the report was consolidated into the annual release of the Evaluation Report. (December 2009) Archive