Feb 10, 2021
With a labor force encompassing a 19-county region, your Chamber and Industrial Foundation team, in partnership with the Development Corporation of Abilene, want to ensure we’re representing the collective interests of our local employers by helping to serve as a bridge between the education and talent needs of our Abilene business community. Starting every other week, our team is pleased to introduce to you a twist on our Daily Business Brief - Workforce Wednesday. We’ll be highlighting workforce data, local job opportunities, training resources and more to help provide you with more tools for your team to succeed.

For questions about Workforce Wednesday, please reach out to our Director of Talent and Development, Marissa Ransted.

Here are a couple of pieces of legislation dealing with workforce issues before the Texas Legislature this session:

HB 1032: State Rep. Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) introduced this bill that deals with public school workforce training programs that are funded by the Skills Development Fund. It would authorize districts to provide money to community-based organizations to reimburse private employers all or in part for paid internships for certain CTE students. The funds would come out of the Foundation School Program. It has been filed but not sent to the committee at this point.

HB 33: State Rep. Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville) introduced this bill to facilitate the awarding of postsecondary course credit based on military experience, education, and training. This would satisfy some requirements for workforce credentialing. The bill has been filed but not sent to the committee at this point.

The Chamber’s Business Advocacy Council serves as the region’s advocate for business at the local, state, and federal levels representing the combined clout of over 1,300 plus members in diverse industry sectors throughout the community. Together we work to ensure that pro-business, pro-growth solutions are always included in the political debate. We offer various opportunities for business leaders to become involved in the political process, including forums and briefings with local, state, and federal lawmakers.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) - Payroll Services for Business
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the jobs report for January on Friday. Given troubling high weekly unemployment claims in January and the 140,000 jobs lost in December–the first monthly job loss since April, many anticipate the economy could again lose jobs in January. But some recent data indicates this is not certain.
Today, the payroll company ADP released its monthly payroll report for January. It showed the economy adding 174,000 jobs. The ADP number and the BLS figure do not always jibe. ADP did originally show a drop in December that was on par with what BLS found. 
More data: The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) releases monthly surveys of the sentiment of manufacturers and service providers. In January, services ticked up and are now higher than pre-pandemic. This is surprising because services have taken the brunt of the economic pain during the pandemic. Manufacturing sentiment fell slightly but remains well above its pre-pandemic level and strongly in growth territory.
On the jobs front, both surveys found businesses adding jobs at a strong pace. Services showed a sharp increase.

Bottom line: The virus has taken a toll on the economy the last few months. The extent of that toll is now showing up in the data, and it may not be as severe as originally feared.
Hopefully the economy added jobs in January and has started on a path of adding jobs uninterrupted for months and years to come.

—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Check out openings from Chamber members. Postings are a free benefit for members - let us know if you'd like to add yours to the listing! 


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March 9, 2021 | 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM CT
March 10, 2021 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM CT
March 12, 2021 | 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM CT
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Defense are working together to address the nation’s defense manufacturing skills gap through a series of virtual regional workshops. This February and March, Texas students, academia, industry, government, and community leaders are all invited to participate in identifying, resolving, and mitigating these issues together. 
Workforce Solutions’ Child Care Services (CCS) program offers financial assistance to help qualifying families pay their child care expenses so they can work, go to school, or attend a training program. Families receiving child care assistance must meet federal, state, and local guidelines in order to qualify for child care assistance.
ABOUT: Workforce Wednesday content and newsletter is created in partnership with the Abilene Chamber, the Abilene Industrial Foundation and the Development Corporation of Abilene - Develop Abilene Team.