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.

Accelerating Alignment: Texas Workforce System Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2024-2031

Approved by Governor Abbott, Accelerating Alignment: Texas Workforce System Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2024–2031 was created using the systems approach to workforce planning. 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.In Texas Government Code, one of the primary responsibilities of the Texas Workforce Investment Council is to develop and recommend to the Governor a single strategic plan for the Texas workforce system that identifies the action, timeline, and responsible partner agency for each long-term objective. The sixth system plan since the Council's creation in 1993, this plan was developed with system partners and is focused on the critical long-term objectives identified as crucial to align the system or to reduce gaps and redundancies that limit system performance. (October 2023)  Summary of Strategic Plan  Infographic

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

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)

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 2018)

COVID-19 Labor Market Update

This research report examines COVID-19’s effect on the Texas workforce. The report lays out a series of data sets by which the pandemic’s impact on Texas jobs can be viewed. The statistics are compiled from three labor market resources and are used to calculate unemployment levels, industry employment, and job posting patterns by Texas region. The data sets in this report also demonstrate the Texas labor market’s initial reaction to the pandemic, both statewide and at the local level. (April 2021)

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)

Demographics of the Unemployed in Texas: A Snapshot Before the Pandemic

This pre-COVID-19 report highlights several content areas related to the unemployed population in the state. The report includes the complete list of alternative measures of unemployment as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with state comparisons; the unemployed in Texas by educational attainment, age, race/ethnicity, and sex demographics; an examination of the prolonged unemployment climate in the state; and key demographic information for unemployed Texans broken out by local workforce development area. (September 2020)

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 as 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 2023

This report is the eighth and final annual evaluation report for The Texas Workforce System Strategic Plan FY 2016–FY 2023. The focal point of the annual evaluation is a balanced scorecard that presents outcome and trend data for system performance. Through the delivery of multiple workforce education and training programs, state and local system partners served more than 4.2 million individuals in the last reporting period. Of those participating in workforce system programs and services, more than 675,000 individuals completed a degree, certificate, or other measure of educational achievement. Additionally, over 850,000 Texans who participated in a workforce program found a job, stayed in a job, and/or enrolled in further education or training. (December 2023) Summary of Evaluation 2023  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)

Industry-Based Certifications for Middle-Skill STEM Occupations in Texas

This report presents the results of the Council’s first system initiative to identify third-party, industry-based certifications that are of value to Texas employers and that can positively affect employment outcomes in middle-skill STEM occupations. The list of certifications contained in this report can be used as a resource to help workforce system partners achieve objectives related to increasing certification outcomes for education and training participants. (November 2018)

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)

Middle-Skill STEM Occupation Index

This report provides analysis and evaluation of data for the middle-skill science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in Texas. The report organizes available demographic, educational, and occupational data into an index of middle-skill STEM occupations in order to establish benchmarks for this sector of the workforce. (November 2021)  Overview of the Index

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.

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)

Research to Support Workforce System Strategic Planning

As part of the strategic planning process, Council staff reviewed selected sources related to emerging issues identified by members and partner agencies. To inform the development of the next workforce system strategic plan for Texas, this compendium includes summaries of research on current workforce issues and research relevant to the Council. Each summary includes the source, date, and a link to the original source document. (September 2022)

Texas Allied Health Labor Force Analysis

This report provides demographic and occupation-related benchmarks of allied health occupations in the United States and Texas. The report includes analysis of population trends, demographic characteristics, and labor market and education data for the allied health labor force. (June 2021) Summary of Texas Allied Health Labor Force Analysis

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 2023) 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. (March 2023)

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

The Texas Workforce System Strategic Plan FY 2016–FY 2023 (2020 Update)

Approved by Governor Abbott, the update to the strategic plan for the Texas workforce system includes updated versions of all agency-specific action plans. (February 2020) Summary of Strategic Plan 

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

Understanding the Need for Nurses in Texas: Defining the
Skills Gap

This report provides a demographic overview of the nursing labor force in Texas. The study presents information about nurses in Texas and also discusses the current national nursing shortage. The research can be used to inform long-term planning projects and aid system partners in evaluating programs designed to improve the performance of the workforce system in meeting the needs of employers for a skilled workforce. (December 2019) 
Summary of Understanding the Need for Nurses in Texas

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 Workforce Services in Texas

This report examines the services available to help veterans and those who are transitioning from military life to civilian life find employment, complete postsecondary education, and obtain a relevant license or certification to compete in the job market. The report highlights relevant legislation, funding, and statewide initiatives. (June 2018)

Vocational Rehabilitation Services: A Texas Primer

This report provides information about the vocational rehabilitation program in Texas, focusing on vocational rehabilitation services authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The report presents information about the vocational rehabilitation program structure in Texas, funding, program delivery, relevant legislation, and program participants. (June 2018)

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

Work-Based Learning in Career and Technical Education Programs in Texas

This report provides a foundation for understanding work-based learning in secondary and postsecondary education in Texas. Programs from the secondary and postsecondary sectors are profiled and presented as best practices to illustrate potential options for and benefits of work-based learning. Lessons learned from these practices may provide valuable information, not only for educational institutions, but also for other workforce system programs. (December 2017)