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In March 2016, Governor Greg Abbott created the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative. The governor tasked the Commissioners of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to work together on developing strong links between education and industry, with the goal of helping Texas grow in economic prosperity. 

Tri-Agency Workforce Goals and Strategies 

We have been working hard to improve Texas' workforce and have some updates to share. We have goals and strategies to develop the state's workforce. We will focus on three important priorities, listed below, that will make a big difference in Texas. You might remember these priorities from our 2020 Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative report, 

If you're eager to learn more, you may view the goals and strategies by clicking the link below:

Tri-Agency State Workforce Goals and Strategies

We, the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative, are grateful for all the valuable feedback we received from the public. Your input has been instrumental in shaping our final goals and strategies, which are now available for everyone to see on our official website:

We invite you to be part of this exciting journey as we work together to create a brighter future for Texas' workforce. Don't miss out! Explore our website today and stay informed about the progress we are making!

Tri-Agency Priorities 

The following are the three Tri-Agency priorities. 


Support goals to help people find easier and different ways to earn degrees, certificates, and other credentials that lead to well-paying jobs that are in high demand. 


Ensure that students get the help and resources they need to succeed at every step of their education journey and as they move into the workforce. 


Build a strong system that allows different agencies to work together toward shared goals, using common data and processes. This will help improve student outcomes and meet employers' needs. 

The History of the Tri-Agency Initiative 

In March 2016, something special happened in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott started the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative. He brought together three important groups: TEA, THECB and TWC. They all wanted to help our state's economy grow.

The initiative had five important tasks. They wanted to connect what you learn in school to the jobs you might have in the future. They also wanted to support teachers and schools to give you a great education. Then, in 2019, a law called House Bill 3 passed. It changed how schools get money. The Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative was given the big job of making sure this law worked well for students like you. In 2021 another law called House Bill 3767 was passed. It was about making education and workforce development work together. House Bill 3767 helped to explain the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative’s goals and strategies to the people of Texas. 

The Tri-Agency Strategic Framework for Work-Based Learning

House Bill 1247 passed during the 87th Texas Legislature’s Regular Session in 2021. It has a specific rule for TEA, THECB and TWC. These agencies must work together to create a plan called a strategic framework. This plan will help more students in Texas learn by participating in something called work-based learning (WBL). After developing this framework plan, the agencies are required to submit a report about it to the Legislature.  

December 2022 Tri-Agency Strategic Framework for Work-Based Learning Report

December 2022 Tri-Agency Strategic Framework for Work-Based Learning Report One Pager

The Industry-Based Certification Advisory Council

House Bill (HB) 3938, 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2021), mandated the establishment of the Industry-Based Certification (IBC) Advisory Council (Council). The Council is composed of members who represent industry, career and technical education (CTE) within public schools, and postsecondary education within public junior and state colleges and public technical institutes. Per HB 3938, the Council’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Advising the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) regarding the alignment of public high school CTE programs with current and future state and regional workforce needs.
  • Developing an inventory of industry-recognized credentials and certificates that public high school students may earn through a CTE program that:
    • aligns with state and regional workforce needs; and
    • serves as an entry point to middle- and high-wage jobs.
  • Establishing a process to develop the inventory, including defining the criteria that determine whether a credential or certificate may be included in the inventory.
  • Conducting annual reviews of the inventory and revising it as needed.

2023 Inventory of Industry-Recognized Credentials

You may download the 2023 Inventory of Industry-Recognized Credentials and other supporting documents at the following links: 

If you have any questions, please email