Will Texas' new Education Standards Bring a Wave of Talent for Texas Businesses?

During the 2013 Texas legislative session, a major education reform was passed to help broaden the educational opportunities of students to be able to compete not only in colleges but in the workplace as well.The bill set forward different diploma standards and reduced the number of end-of-course exams.

HB5 passed the legislature and was signed into law last summer. Texas State Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Bryan-College Station) was a co-sponsor of the bill. "This legislation empowers the individual to take charge of their education by offering a greater variety of curriculum options," Schwertner said in a statement published during the session. "HB 5 will provide students with the greatest possible opportunity to meet their individual potential ... whether that ultimately takes the form of direct workforce entry, a post-secondary vocational program, or enrollment in a traditional four-year institution."

In urging schools to quickly implement these new standards, "Jobs for Texas", a coalition of Texas business organizations said, "The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) should recognize the clear legislative intent of House Bill 5: to provide flexibility for local school districts to offer rigorous and relevant curriculum that prepares all students for success - in both college and the workforce. The Jobs for Texas coalition supported HB 5 because a more flexible and relevant education will allow schools to meet the diverse interests of their students, and the needs of businesses."

ConstructionCitizen.com, in an article by Pat Kiley about the Construction Career Collaborative stated, "The “war for talent” is certainly a reality for Houston based construction firms, whether they are general or specialty contractors. Firms are hiring again at an ever accelerating pace and people with experience are in great demand."

The article continues:

it is time for our industry, particularly in the Houston and Texas area, to “suit up” (a favorite expression of the late Leo Linbeck, Jr) and “get in the game.” Attracting, retaining and developing “talent” is a strategic imperative for the CEO and his senior executive team at all construction companies. This priority issue cannot be delegated to the human resources department. Certainly they become the functional partner for implementation; however, the strategic direction and the changes required to truly compete for talented people must be led by the top team.

When companies and their leadership team see their people as “talent,” and model that behavior in their own dealings with each other and with their direct reports, it changes the culture, the language and the level of energy required (lots more), but it also changes the payoff in terms of both today’s productivity and tomorrow’s possibilities. In our judgment, it is a wise choice.

When leaders see people as talent, rather than as payroll expense and problems, they are attracted to “talent management and human capital development systems.” Both of these phrases imply value, investment and dividends. Google those phrases and you will get real insight into how seriously committed other companies are to this critical strategic initiative. They are on the same battlefield as we are; they are out to win this war for talent.

The legislation passed last summer by the Texas legislature should bring forward a new wave of "talent" for the construction industry and other business that seek skilled labor.  It is now on Texas businesses to create an environment that will attract these people and provide them with a career path to keep them.





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