Erin Davis Valdez is a policy analyst with Right on Work at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

As the trickle of businesses relocating to Texas becomes a flood, it is vitally important for policymakers to consider how to make hiring the existing Texas workforce more attractive to employers than importing workers, who may not share Texas values, from other states. Texans still suffering COVID-related unemployment in the hard-hit service sector could benefit from reskilling to fill specialized roles in IT, manufacturing, construction, and healthcare.

In addition, after the significant damages recently caused by Winter Storm Uri, the shortage of skilled tradespeople—such as plumbers—has become an urgent matter of public policy.

In order for Texas to live up to its reputation as a business-friendly state, as well as to protect its liberties and prosperity in the long term, employers need to be able to develop the talents of Texans within their communities quickly and effectively.

Testimony in Support of SB 2005 Submitted to the Texas Senate Committee on Higher Education