Gov. Perry: Texas' Workforce and Economic Development are Key to Prosperity
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the need for continued conservative fiscal principles and strengthening of the state’s workforce to help bolster Texas’ economy as it begins to feel the strain of the national economic downturn. The governor spoke at the Texas Workforce Commission Economic Summit: Putting America Back to Work.
“As we move forward, we must ensure that the challenges of the financial downturn are handled with confidence and discipline,” Gov. Perry said. “With a recent revenue estimate that came in below working numbers, we must devote this legislative session to those programs and initiatives that make the biggest difference to Texans.”
The governor credited Texas’ low taxes, reasonable regulatory structure, and economic development incentives such as the Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund with creating jobs for Texans by attracting businesses to relocate to the state. Approximately 70 percent of the jobs created in the U.S. from November 2007-2008 were in Texas, with 7,300 jobs created in November 2008 alone. Texas’ unemployment rate is one point lower than the national average, and the state’s annual growth rate was 2.1 percent last year, compared to -1.4 percent nationally.
The governor also credited workforce programs such as the Skills Development Fund, which provides funding to community and technical colleges that prepare workers for skill-based technical jobs, with building the state’s capable and educated workforce.
“As we move into this legislative session, the biggest challenge we face is bolstering our state to withstand the economic crisis that has toppled businesses and economies around the world,” Gov. Perry said. “Fortunately, thanks to some tough decisions we made in 2003, Texas has not suffered as much as other states, but we must look ahead with an eye to responsibility and the best interests of Texans at heart.”
For more information on the Texas Workforce Commission’s programs, please visit http://www.twc.state.tx.us.
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