AARO’s Workforce Potential Project contracted with the Ray Marshall Center to research the Central Texas regional labor market in order to identify occupations in growth sectors that pay well while requiring less education than a baccalaureate degree, probe preparedness and credentialing capacity, and investigate employer perspectives regarding growth and opportunity in these occupations.
Today, the Workforce Potential Project has evolved into the ACC Career Expressway.
Recent US Census data indicates that more than 200,000 Austin‐area residents over the age of 25 have attended college but not completed a degree or certificate. At the same time, job growth in the Austin area is generally out‐pacing employment projections and attracting in‐migrants to Austin, who offer significant competition for local residents.
[The ACC Career Expressway] aims to significantly increase the share of local residents age 25 years and older with a post-secondary associate’s degree and/or credentials to enable them to obtain jobs paying $18 per hour or more, a wage equivalent to providing economic self‐sufficiency for a mother with two children in the Austin area.
In Central Texas there are 144,000 people who enrolled at some point in an institution of higher education, never completed a certification or degree, and are currently not earning a living wage for themselves and their family. The Career Expressway aims to put people back on the path toward earning credentials – the keys to landing a better paying job.