Texas policymakers wanted to identify layoff trends statewide, enabling them to form policies that would be instrumental in the way they serve dislocated workers in the future. In order to gather the needed information, two important components were needed; an analysis of their WARN data, and a review of training programs for dislocated workers. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification ACT (WARN) was enacted by Congress on August 4, 1988 and became effective on February 4, 1989. After the preliminary analysis of the WARN data, selected companies were analyzed in further detail to decipher possible occupational staffing patterns.
The second component, reviewing training for dislocated workers, involved an extensive literature review of dislocated worker programs. Based on such literature, long-term training seems to yield more positive net results for dislocated workers than short-term training. The report explores this construct in depth, while also addressing the need to prepare the Texas workforce for "emerging occupations." According to the Texas Innovation Network (TINS), a non-profit 501 (3) organization chartered by the Texas legislature to help establish Texas as a world leader in scientific research and technology business development, an "emerging occupation" is defined as "one that no one used to work at, a few people work at now, and lots of people will work at soon." Such a dynamic and competitive job market would enable Texas to compete on a national scale and furthermore international scale. Assisting policymakers to serve dislocated workers in a more effective way will ultimately better prepare the Texas workforce.