What's Underway

press release

New Data Reveals COVID-19 Impact on Texas Employers, Business' Capacity to Weather Winter Storms

First in a series of surveys assesses resilience and preparedness of Texas employers, employees, and the communities they share. 

A growing coalition of leading business and economic development advocates today released the results of a survey assessing COVID-19’s initial impact on Texas businesses.

Led by the Texas Association of Business (TAB) and the Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) the coalition includes the North Texas Commission (NTC), Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce, Alliance for Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas (ASSET), Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives (TCCE), Texas Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Texas Staffing Association, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Texas Business Leadership Council, and a growing list of economic development and industry groups.

Briefing deck

full report

2021 - 2022 Projects

Our current initiatives transcend political boundaries and solutions necessarily include all community stakeholders and all communities: urban, rural, red, and blue. 

The non-partisan Workforce Initiative we launched in 2019 has evolved to become a 3-phase COVID-19 recovery and future of work campaign executed in partnership with the state’s leading economic development institutions, innovative digital infrastructure, and national research partners.

We are more committed than ever to the groundbreaking work we’ve undertaken and are thankful you chose to join us in making a difference.


Phase 1: Navigating COVID-19

Only by knowing where we are can we determine where to go. 

The ongoing impact of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods is still unknown but the use of the virus to sow division has been all too apparent. In order to reopen our economy and get our workforce safely back to work, UST is working closely with business leaders, economic developers, and policymakers and their constituents to provide a deeper perspective on COVID-19’s still evolving impact on employers, employees, and the communities they share. 

Phase 1 research was completed and released in February 2021.

Phase 2: Future of Work 

Americans want a strong economy that includes and benefits every American. We want workforce readiness strategies, job opportunities, and training that prepares us and our kids for a stable future and a happy life. We want our elected officials and policymakers to base decisions on facts, science, and a vision developed with input from all communities. 
Future of Work is a statewide regional assessment building on the results revealed in Phase 1, drilling down on regional workforce and building non-partisan coalitions of employers, economic developers, and policymakers and their constituents around related policy priorities. As an advocacy tool, it will lay the groundwork to pick up where the Workforce Initiative left off in advance of the 2022 elections.

Phase 3: Resilient Policy Labs

Stealth mode. 

Resilient Policy Labs are on the white boards right now. Using data collected in Phase 2 and working with some of Texas’ leading academic policy institutions, stakeholders will be provided workforce and economy strengthening policy templates for consideration at the local, county, and state levels. This will advance the expectation that hyper-partisan politics should not get in the way of the real work or the big picture.