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Drowning in the Central Texas Drought

On February 26th, Austin Area Research Organization released “Drowning in the Central Texas Drought.” The White Paper provides facts about the current drought and Austin’s water supply, and asks, Given the current drought, does it make sense for Austin’s water supply to be solely depending on the amount of rainfall that enters the Highland Lakes? The document also provides recommended actions for the City of Austin. Click here to read “Drowning in the Central Texas Drought.” FACTS: 1) Central Texas is currently in the midst of a major drought. 2) Central Texas’ population continues to grow. 3) The City of Austin has only one source of water. THE BOTTOM LINE: If future rainfall runoff to the Highland Lakes mirrors the last four years, the lakes may contain only three to seven years of an adequate water supply, even with aggressive conservation. ACTION ITEM: The City of Austin and Lower Colorado River Authority should work together with a renewed sense of urgency to analyze conditions and evaluate new water supply options.

AARO members encourage regional support for Austin Community College Propositions 1, 2, and 3

On Monday, September 15, 2014, AARO members approved the following public statement in support of Austin Community College District’s Propositions 1, 2, & 3: The Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) urges Central Texas voters to vote yes on the Austin Community College District’s Bond Propositions 1 & 2, and Proposition 3, the Maintenance and Operations tax cap question in this November’s Election. As an organization dedicated to advancing the long-term economic and social well-being of Central Texas, AARO is strongly committed to a system of public and higher education which is accessible to all Central Texans and meets the region’s growing and changing workforce demands. We understand that our region’s long-term success is directly connected to the quality of its education system, which directly benefits our residents and produces the workforce necessary to ensure economic prosperity. Austin Community College District (ACC) is a critical piece of Central Texas’ education system. ACC fulfills this region’s educational and workforce development needs in a variety of critical and innovative ways, such as: Workforce training, Early college/high school dual credit, Associate degrees, Career/technical certificates, Core curriculum/university transfer, and Continuing education. As business and civic leaders, AARO members have a vested interest in ensuring the region’s educational system continues to produce a high quality pool of talent to drive future business success and economic prosperity throughout the state. Access to high quality education at all levels is critical to the welfare of our region, and we are pleased that ACC provides many levels of these educational opportunities for Central Texans. In addition, AARO members recognize that there is a cost to ensuring quality throughout our region’s educational system. The long-term economic welfare of Central Texas requires that we find the [...]

By |September 23rd, 2014|Categories: AARO News, Social Equity|0 Comments

Career Expressway: Labor Market Analysis

AARO 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.

Social Equity Indicators: Cost of Living

Quality of life is lessened if the cost of living keeps a family constantly at the edge of its means. Sustainability is concerned with achieving a balance so that meeting one’s own basic needs is within reach of everyone.

School Attendance in Central Texas Improving After Region-Wide Efforts

Region-wide efforts to decrease student absences in Central Texas have been working! After reaching an all time high in 2010, student absences in Central Texas declined between 2011 and 2013, even despite student enrollment growth.