2015 Jobs Agenda: Infrastructure & Education Keys - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

2015 Jobs Agenda: Infrastructure & Education Keys

The unemployment rate in the Lone Star State fell to five 5.1 percent in October, as Texas added over 35,000 seasonally adjusted jobs last month. That good news was on the minds of Texas Association of Business members on Friday as they unveiled their Jobs Agenda for 2015.  

The plan emphasizes fine tuning education.

"If you look at the 4 years schools, unfortunately only about half of our students actually graduate in 6 years," explained Bill Hammond, the CEO of The Texas Association of Business. "So we'd like to see 10 percent of the money that the state provides be based on increasing those completion rates."

Hammond said the higher education committee needs to step it up and actually graduate more kids. Right now, he says because of the lack of graduations, Texas has a job skills gap across the board.

The agenda from the largest business organization in the state also pushes for increased infrastructure in the coming year. 

"It's about bringing more manufacturing jobs, so that would obviously include an area like Wichita Falls," Hammond said

Besides manufacturing jobs, positions in construction of the Texas's roads is another infrastructure priority. TxDOT estimates that the Lone Star State will need $5 billion in the coming year to maintain Texas's road network and build new roads. To reach that goal, Hammond said that...

"We'd like to see all the diversion of the gas tax that goes to DPS to be ended, and we'd like to see about half of the motor vehicle sales tax be dedicated to roads."

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6

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