Report | June 4, 2024

Texas Needs...All That They Can Be

Military recruiting and civilian workforce shortage demand further investments in Texas’ young children

A shrinking workforce paired with ongoing issues related to gaps in skills and employment disqualifications is causing labor shortages and fierce competition for qualified individuals in most employment sectors, including our service branches.

On the military side, 77 percent of youth between the ages of 17 and 24 nationwide cannot meet the military’s eligibility requirements due to inadequate education, obesity or other disqualifying health conditions, or having a record of crime or substance use. Meanwhile, on the civilian side, there are only 80 available workers for every 100 open jobs in Texas. These dual challenges pose a threat to both the Texas economy and national security.

Texas must invest more in early education, to set young children on the path to success and improve readiness for the workforce, including military service if youth so choose. Similarly, by supporting programs that improve child health, including effective nutrition programs, policymakers can bolster the future workforce, both civilian and military. Continued investments in the education and health of young Texans are needed to ensure that our children—and consequently our state and our nation—are all that they can be.

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