FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 22, 2004 MEDIA CONTACT: Larry Jones
PHONE: (512) 463-8556
TWC Will Play a Major Role in Texas' Target Industry Cluster Initiative
Biotech is the first of six to be named by the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism
AUSTIN - The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) joins the Governor's Office in the launch of Texas' Target Industry Cluster Initiative to promote job creation and economic development. By increasing awareness in industries that offer the best promise for economic growth, TWC and the Governor's Office are creating a forum in which industry leaders can attract new companies to Texas and create jobs.
"The state of Texas will focus on developing six industry clusters that will be critical to our future prosperity, the landing of research dollars and the creation of innovations and jobs to Texas," said Governor Rick Perry at Texas' Target Industry Cluster Initiative launch. "For the first time in the history of this state, we will be able to develop a coordinated, market-driven economic development plan for the state of Texas."
In support of the governor's policy, cluster teams conduct comprehensive competitive assessments of their industry and then make recommendations toward the allocation of state resources. TWC has facilitated the formation of cluster teams and will continue to play a significant role in organizing training efforts directed toward the needs of industry clusters.
"The development of industry clusters in Texas is parallel to our mission to further develop an employer-driven workforce system," said TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing the Public Diane Rath. "TWC's Office of Employer Initiatives works to align Texas businesses with the services of local workforce boards, government agencies, industry associations and educators in order to help companies grow, thereby sparking job growth."
The six industries named as Texas' Target Industry Clusters are:
Advanced Technologies and Manufacturing - Advanced manufacturing, including the automotive sector, requires higher skills, resulting in higher wages and investment in the state.
Aerospace and Defense - With the large group of companies in Texas already doing business in this sector, along with recent federal funding and current trends indicating future investment, this cluster is an obvious target for accelerated economic development. Firms within this cluster are technology and skill intensive, resulting in higher wage jobs.
Biotechnology and Life Sciences - Current and future trends indicate that this cluster is growing rapidly as a result of the large number of biotechnology organizations already in Texas. This technology-intensive cluster requires highly skilled workers.
Information Technology (IT) and Computer Technology - Although the IT industry has experienced some realignment over the past several years, it remains an important part of the Texas economy. Existing collaboration between this cluster and biotechnology allow for changes in the employment mix as new technologies are applied within the cluster.
Energy - Texas boasts a well-established energy sector and existing infrastructure. Progress in this industry will include new technologies for oil and gas exploration and new energy sources.
Petroleum Refining and Chemical Products - Texas is a world leader in this industry with its strong infrastructure, technology and employment base and the countless synergies to be created between this industry and the energy cluster.
"TWC is a natural partner to Texas' Target Industry Cluster Initiative because the focus is on employer needs, growth and job creation," said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ron Lehman. "Collective promotion of key industries will serve to strengthen both regional and statewide economic development. TWC is committed to being at the forefront of innovative employer-driven initiatives."
"This initiative focuses Texas' resources on job creation and economic development, which translates directly to more jobs for Texas workers," said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. "I strongly support Governor Perry's efforts to target industry clusters and maximize job creation.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.