The library is all about DIY, self-learning and enriching lives through access to informative resources. This makes libraries an excellent place for entrepreneurs who often find themselves juggling learning new skills and training employees along with a long list of other responsibilities. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ 2017 Texas Small Businesses Needs Assessment Poll, finding the right ‘talent’ has been either the top 1 or 2 concerns for small business owners since 2013, as pictured in the graphics below.
Workforce Hiring and Training
The following chart lists the other important skills that small business owners needed their employees to possess.
But, it should also be noted that the ease of finding employees with the abovementioned skills varies. And, as the following graphic indicates, surveyed employers found it more difficult to find employees with some of those skill (Sales and marketing, Punctuality/Reliability, Interpersonal Skills, Advanced Technology Skills, Advanced Computer Skills) than others (Basic Computer Skills, Basic Math Skills).
Considering the difficulty in finding punctual and reliable employees with interpersonal skills, small business owner can consider having employees that excel in those ‘soft skills’ trained in areas where your business lacks adequate technical skills.
Skills for Small Business Employees
The Texas Workforce Commission’s program on Skills for Small Business is an opportunity for small business employers to train employees with funding for coursework through the Dallas County Community College District that varies depending on how long the employee has worked with the small business. To be eligible your business must:
· Be a private business
· Employ between 1 and 99 individuals company wide
· Be financially stable
· Be liable to pay unemployment contributions to the Texas Workforce Commission and be in compliance with the reporting and payment requirements
If you meet those eligibility requirements, you should consider what training courses are offered and where. These courses range from basic computer skills to foreign languages to marketing and sales.
How to Apply
There are 8 steps to the application process, as identified by the Texas Workforce Commission. The following list the steps with some additional links to information. Take special note for step 6, as the local Workforce Development Board in Dallas is called Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas.
1. Identify new or incumbent employees to be trained.
2. Identify each employee’s job/occupational title and corresponding Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code. Employers may use the Texas AutoCoder to find the best match between job titles/descriptions and SOC-coded occupations.
3. Identify employee's wages. Wages must meet or exceed prevailing wage for the area where the business is located.
4. Identify the two-year public community or technical college nearest your location using the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s College Locator.
5. Select training course(s) from the regular credit, continuing education and/or online course catalogs. TWC maintains a list of links to College Class Schedules, or if you selected one of the 7 campuses from DCCCD, visit here.
6. Determine if the occupation has been identified by your local Workforce Development Board as a targeted occupation. Skills for Small Business emphasizes training in occupations targeted by the Workforce Development Board.
7. Complete and submit the application that can be downloaded from the Forms section and is called Skills for Small Business Application directly to TWC, by email: SkillsForSmallBusiness@twc.state.tx.us or fax: 512-463-7187.
8. View the Skills for Small Business FAQ for additional information on completing and submitting applications to TWC.
For more detailed information about the Skills for Small Business Program visit the TWC website for small businesses or download the application instructions.