Workforce development is usually tied closely to educational attainment and communication and collaboration between workforce/education organizations, economic development organizations, the private sector, resource allocation, and effectiveness of service delivery. The development of skills necessary to fill high wage jobs is critical to the continued economic development efforts in the region, especially as our region experiences changes in labor market demands.
Schools educate and prepare the future workforce for the region. Youth who do not aspire to higher education and who lack career training opportunities are at risk to become lost in a cycle of unemployment and underemployment leading to a life of low wages and poverty, putting their families and children at risk for a similar working life. The region’s public schools, colleges, and workforce boards provide education opportunities for Texoma residents to gain skills and training necessary to enter the labor force.
Educational attainment is an indicator commonly used to measure the average skills of the local labor force. The percentage of Texoma residents who have at least a high school diploma falls in between the averages for the state of Texas and the nation, which are 79.2 percent and 84.5 percent respectively. Although the figures for the number of residents with some college experience are relatively consistent with other regions, Texoma lags behind in percent of the population who have completed a bachelor’s degree. This is important to note as economic development practitioners and local officials court industries and jobs that require additional education and training such as the teaching field and high-tech industry.