Did you know there are over 15,000 open “middle-skilled” jobs today in Central Texas? And this vacancy level is scheduled to jump to 60,000 over the next five years? Did you know that Austin only has the capacity to train 3,000 people a year for those jobs? Furthermore, did you know that there are over 200,000 Central Texans living in poverty?
These were just a few of the jaw-dropping statistics related to the audience by Matt Williams, Vice President of Education at Goodwill Central Texas, while at the 2016 Mission Accelerator Graduation event on October 27th. He then cautioned the audience that if this issue is not addressed now, the gap will only widen with our projected population growth. That’s when Matt unveiled our solution to bridge businesses in need of capable workers with underemployed Central Texans hungry for opportunity -- explaining why our “Just In Time” training program, is now an integral part of the curriculum at The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy.
With help from The Mission Accelerator Program and Mission Capital Social Venture Partners, the Just In Time Program was created to train Central Texans for those middle skill jobs described above. With courses ranging from Basic Commercial Construction to Low Voltage Electrical Installation, the curriculum is based on meeting the pressing needs of local employers, fast. In a matter of weeks, sometimes days, these courses prepare the graduates for entry-level positions, with the potential of accelerated career advancement, all at higher wages. These trainings are a true game-changer for families seeking to improve their quality of life and business who will no longer see their projects grind to a halt.
For instance, the Basic Commercial Construction courses are designed to prepare students to enter the commercial workforce with the knowledge and skills required to produce a quality product while performing work within OSHA-approved safety standards. We work in concert with employers, asking what they want their entry-level employees to be able to accomplish from the beginning of the job. Graduates are trained for the specific job and ready to go on Day One, saving employers training costs and helping people advance their careers more quickly.
Basic Commercial Construction Low Voltage Electrical Installation
You may recall our coverage of PhilanthropitchTM back in May of this year. Goodwill Central Texas applied and was accepted to be a part of the pitch competition and was chosen as one of the finalists. During this “Shark Tank” style competition, Goodwill Central Texas was awarded over $25,000 and accepted into the Mission Accelerator Program.
The Mission Accelerator Program is hosted by Mission Capital, a not-for-profit with a goal of changing the way Austin gives back and investing in solutions that create positive social change. Mission Capital convenes Social Venture Partners who provide support throughout the Mission Accelerator program. These individuals are local professionals who volunteer their time, expertise, and financial capital to support not-for-profit organizations’ pilot programs and start-ups.
Photo Credit: Mission Capital
During Philanthropitch, Matt spoke about the need for funding and expansion of The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy (GCTA). Program participants who complete their training with the GCTA boost their starting wage, on average, of $14-$17/hour, compared with individuals who do not have a certification or training, who earn an average of around $10/hr.
Because Goodwill was accepted into the Mission Accelerator Program, we received help with development, ongoing consultation, training, and financial support for the creation of the Just In Time Program to serve those participants.
Goodwill was honored to have representatives of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation attending the graduation. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation also supports our education, training, and expansion efforts.
Other participants in the graduation event were Con Mi MADRE, BookSpring, EcoRise and CareBOX Program. The “Valedictorian” of the event will be announced near the end of November. Stay tuned for results!