Commentary: Workforce Solutions has answers for workforce challenges

Having trouble finding employees? You’re far from alone. Businesses and industries in all sectors of the economy are facing a major talent problem. Between excessive employee attrition rates and a near-desperate need for qualified candidates, the United States has a record 11 million job openings. In Tarrant County, unemployment has fallen to less than 4% (from a pandemic high of almost 7.4%), but we simply don’t have enough applicants for the openings that exist.

Long gone are the days of hundreds of experienced job seekers lining up for a single position. Today, employers are competing for the available workforce, and that requires a new approach with a keener focus on retaining existing workers and attracting those already in the job market.

Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County is here to help. We are one of 28 Texas workforce development boards focused on creating a quality workforce, and we offer no-cost services to Tarrant County employers of all sizes. Our Employer Services team is ready to provide customized support to help businesses find and keep well-trained and qualified employees.

The key word today is training. A recent study cited by Forbes found that 76% of workers say they’re more likely to stay when an employer offers continuous training. Over half of the study respondents said they need additional training to improve performance in their current jobs. By offering that training, businesses can lower employee attrition rates and strengthen their workforce.

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That sounds simple, but it’s not an easy lift for a small to midsize company with limited resources. Luckily, recent federal funding has opened the door to an exciting opportunity. Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County recently introduced SkillUp Tarrant County, a digital learning platform that offers job seekers and employers no-cost access to more than 5,000 e-learning courses and 130 industry credential tracks.

That means on demand employee training at your fingertips, including supervisory instruction, language learning, and Microsoft suite and desktop certifications. Employers can also access training specific to their industry, from IT to hospitality, and take advantage of hot topics like food and alcohol safety, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, and diversity, equity and inclusion courses.

For employers, SkillUp Tarrant County provides a convenient, accessible method for training new hires as well as upskilling current employees, without capital investment. And with mobile compatibility for almost all courses and engaging formats, including game-based learning, employees are more likely to continue and complete their training – benefiting them and businesses.

The platform also functions as an assessment and hiring hub, streamlining and improving the process of filling open positions. In addition, individuals in the job market can use SkillUp Tarrant County to learn what skills are in demand and to gain those competencies, and then connect with hiring managers.

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While SkillUp Tarrant County is a digital platform, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Workforce Solution’s Employer Services team works one-on-one with Tarrant County businesses to make the most of all available training opportunities. That includes customized support to identify and implement needed tools and courses that complement a company’s existing programs. Other employer services, such as labor market wage analysis, recruiting and screening candidates and information on tax incentive programs, are also available to businesses at no cost.

Whether you have a small business, a startup, a company struggling to come back from the stresses of the pandemic, or one that needs to enhance its business plan, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County offers the resources and expertise to put you on track to greater success.

The challenges employers face today are numerous and complex. Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County is here to deliver solutions. Learn more about SkillUp Tarrant County and other no-cost resources available to businesses at

Judy McDonald is executive director of Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County (WSTC), one of 28 Workforce Development boards throughout Texas operating under the auspices of the Texas Workforce Commission. WSTC responds to the needs of employers and job seekers through locally designed market-driven workforce development initiatives.