Closing the Skills Gap with the MyTXCareer App

How Texas is tackling the skills gap with Lightcast Data

Published on Mar 25, 2024

Written by Miriam Glassman

Texas boasts an impressive track record of annual job growth, consistently outperforming national averages with a remarkable 3% to 4% growth rate across all 11 of their major industries.

However, quick growth presents unique challenges for the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). TWC is the state agency charged with overseeing and providing workforce development services to employers and job seekers in Texas.

“Our ability to fill middle-skills jobs gets strained from time to time, particularly when there's rapid growth. Moving people from one sector to the other for a better job is not easy," TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel said. “Middle-skill jobs comprise 56% of our employment, while only about 45% of our labor force possess the necessary training for these jobs, so filling the skills gap is one of our top priorities.”

Middle skills are those that require more education than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor's degree, and are often acquired through vocational training or community college.

TWC commissioned a study during the pandemic titled the "Future of Texas Workforce." In this study, they found that companies typically deal with skill gaps by identifying other workers with transferable skills and then providing them with their own training. Meanwhile, educational institutions strive to continuously adapt to industry demands—but struggle to do so quick enough.

Perhaps most importantly, their research uncovered that individuals lacked a clear understanding of how to leverage their existing skills to pursue a new career in an occupation with greater growth potential.

"The thing we didn't have was for an individual to be able to say to a digital resource: These are the skills I have. This is the job I'd like to have. Now, what's the roadmap for me to get from where I am now, to where I want to be, and who can help me do that?" Daniel said.

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The Solution: MyTXCareer App

In response, the TWC developed a transformative mobile online resource to help Texans gain the career knowledge they desired. The MyTXCareer app was launched in January 2024, enabling individuals to explore potential career pathways and discover next steps to achieve their goals based on their personal work experience and skill set.

MyTXCareer app is a free resource that guides users through three easy steps: browse occupations, explore pathways, and get support. While browsing occupations, users can view the average salary, job demand, and position descriptions. 

“To build MyTXCareer, we needed a partner with a strong track record of taking data and figuring out the relationships it has to other data and how it all fits together. The app needed to take a particular set of skills and then translate that into a career path that would make sense," Daniel said.

We selected Lightcast because of their strong data capabilities, track record in data analysis, and overall great national reputation.

Users can input their education, work experience, and future career goals, as well as take a "career personality quiz" to guide their exploration. The app provides suggested career paths and information about related resources and training.

Depending on their needs, users are also guided to connect with their local Workforce Solutions office and TWC’s TX Credential Connect team.  

Empowering Texans: The Impact of MyTXCareer

Following the implementation of the MyTXCareer app, several key outcomes have emerged:

  • Rapid Adoption: The MyTXCareer app experienced rapid adoption, exceeding initial expectations for registered users.

  • Career Pathway Visibility: The app's success validated TWC's research findings, demonstrating an enduring interest among Texans in gaining clarity on their career trajectories. Research—whether looking at our internal data or at nationally-published articles—indicates many individuals begin a career or make their next career move based on the skills they have rather than a specific job title.

  • Support for Workforce Boards: The app serves as an extra resource for workforce boards by providing additional, always-on support to individuals seeking guidance. MyTXCareer is akin to providing career counseling to people that we might not have been able to access otherwise, simply because it's on their timetable, it's on their schedule, and it's on their phone,” Daniel said.

  • Expanded Reach: It draws in individuals who would have never sought in-person help otherwise.

  • A Tool for All: The app has become an invaluable resource for individuals across all professions and not limited to middle-skills roles.

“The app is for everyone. Skills gaps exist throughout the workforce. And this app will tell you where you have some gaps and how you can fill them. That's pretty powerful,” said Daniel.

The collaboration between TWC and Lightcast has yielded a groundbreaking tool that empowers Texans to navigate their career paths with confidence. By leveraging innovative technology and data-driven insights, the MyTXCareer app has emerged as a catalyst for job growth and prosperity in Texas.

On-Demand Webinar

See how Texas is closing the skills gap with the MyTXCareer app! Check out our on-demand webinar to hear from Chairman Bryan Daniel of the Texas Workforce Commission and get valuable insights from one the fastest growing workforces in the nation.