Today, the Aim Hire Texas Policy Coalition, a network of over forty partners comprising business leadership and education advocates spanning the entire state – including the Commit Partnership– announced their strong support of the final recommendations released by the Texas Commission on Community College Finance (TCCCF).
Commit Partnership CEO Todd Williams had the honor of serving on this commission, and this new final report details nine bold recommendations for consideration by the 88th Legislature designed to improve state funding for outcomes, ensure affordability for students, and create targeted investments in college capacity. As Texas faces a growing skilled workforce shortage with almost one million job openings unfilled as of July 2022, the recommendations offer a clear path forward for Texas’ workforce and overall economy.
“The final Texas Commission on Community College Finance recommendations showcase a bold vision for our state’s community colleges and are a win for students and businesses alike,” said Libby McCabe, Senior Policy Advisor to the Commit Partnership and a leader of the Aim Hire Texas Policy Coalition. “The Aim Hire Texas Policy Coalition strongly supports these recommendations and encourages the Texas Legislature to expeditiously act on these proposals. Our students, workforce, and overall economy depend on it.”
"By 2030, 62 percent of all Texas jobs will require a postsecondary credential – but Texas businesses are already struggling to find qualified workers,” said Elizabeth Caudill McClain, Dallas Regional Chamber’s Vice President Education & Workforce. “By enacting these proposals to bolster community colleges into law, we can address the skilled workforce shortage, support our businesses, and ensure more Texans have the opportunity to earn a self-sustaining wage.”
In September, the Aim Hire Texas Policy Coalition coalesced behind a strong public comment in support of the Commission’s draft recommendations. There is also widespread support for the recommendations on the part of Texas community college leadership and community college students themselves.
If strategically implemented, legislation based on the final TCCCF recommendations will:
- Ensure community colleges prioritize programs that meet their regional workforce needs so that Texas businesses will have access to a regionally aligned skilled workforce
- Ensure that every Texan has an equal opportunity to participate in our state’s prosperity via equitable access to an affordable, high-quality education
- Ensure that state funds are spent efficiently and effectively
- Resolve the underlying structural flaws of our current community college finance system
As the report aptly concludes, “Ultimately, every additional dollar Texas invests in our community colleges can translate into greater opportunities across the state and a higher-performing state workforce that will draw new investment and jobs.” With Texas' strong economic standing, recently reinforced by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s revenue estimate, the 88th legislative session presents an especially advantageous opportunity to strategically invest in community colleges to support Texas’ growing economy.
The full report from the Texas Commission on Community College Finance can be found here.