Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper Promising Approaches to Workforce Development in Texas which explores best practices for private workforce development in Texas.

“In broad economic terms, Texas is one of the most prosperous states in America,” said the paper’s co-author David Bass. “Study after study has ranked Texas at the top of economic opportunity for prospects and businesses alike. But, amidst this economic prosperity, another story is unfolding; many are struggling and rely on government programs to subsist. The big question is how we can best help those who are struggling successfully find and maintain meaningful, self-supporting work.”

Texas’ poverty rate is above the national average with many facing high barriers to employment, lacking access to suitable childcare, reliable transportation, or stable or affordable housing.

“Policies in response to COVID-19 have created unemployment and uncertainty about whether schools will provide reliable custody of children, which in turn have created extraordinary difficult circumstances for many families,” said Erin Davis Valdez, a policy analyst with the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Work initiative. “There is no one-size-fits-all program to solve these challenges. We are seeking to understand through evidence which community-based solutions are the most effective means of helping families to thrive.”

Key Points:

  • Public policy and social services should not be based on hunches and anecdotal success stories. Low-income Texas families deserve interventions that are backed by evidence that they work.
  • The social service community contains innovations that can show us how to help families escape poverty.
  • There is evidence suggesting that investing in workforce programs saves taxpayer money over providing welfare assistance.

To read the paper in full, please visit: