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Focus Areas | Workforce

All students should have the opportunity to complete the education required to seek the best job possible. It is not only important for personal success and fulfillment, but it also ensures that our region, state, and national economies continue to thrive. Postsecondary education greatly increases job choice and earnings.

With intentional effort placed on growing the number of degrees and credentials in Smith County, the Tyler Area Partnership 4 Education has also gathered metrics that reflect the effectiveness of postsecondary education. As shown previously in this report, those who complete postsecondary education are more likely to earn higher wages and are less likely to live in poverty. Earning a postsecondary credential is now a precondition for upward mobility. For those who do not pursue education beyond a high school diploma, the chances of earning a living wage are diminished.

The Texas workforce system is charged with developing strategies to target high-growth, high-demand, and emerging occupations that are critical to the state and local economies. Commonly referred to as “Target Occupations,” these lists of occupations are determined by Workforce Development Boards based on a number of economic indicators and local wisdom regarding employers and industries. Very few high school graduates are able to secure employment in one of these occupations. For those with an industry certification or college degree, the chances are much greater.

The importance of linking education and workforce has never been more critical. The community must come together to ensure that local students are pursuing postsecondary degrees and credentials that will enable them to fill the high demand and high wage jobs of the future.

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