Texas Standard for Aug. 9, 2023: Examining the skills gap in a post-pandemic workforce

As the nation emerges from the pandemic, an intriguing phenomenon has surfaced in the workforce: New hires, upon starting their roles, often voice a sense of uncertainty about fundamental job responsibilities.

By Texas StandardAugust 9, 2023 9:18 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023:

Members of Congress probe tensions between Texas troopers and Border Patrol

Texas state troopers told members of Congress visiting the border this week that reports of them interfering with Border Patrol agents have been overblown. The troopers’ insistence came after weeks of documented conflict between the two agencies – like trooper-installed razor wire making parts of the Rio Grande inaccessible.

This comes at a time when the federal government has taken legal action against Texas, filing a lawsuit after Gov. Greg Abbott greenlit the installation of a buoy barrier along the river without obtaining approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Houston Chronicle political journalist Jeremy Wallace recently journeyed to Eagle Pass to witness these developments firsthand. He joins us to shed more light on the situation at the border.

How some North Texas landlords go outside the legal eviction process to force tenants out

Eviction is a formal, legal process, and Texas law outlines the process and timing for delivering notices, filing a case in court, and administering the trial. Nonetheless, tenants’ rights groups say landlords often go to extreme measures to push people out of their homes – making “it as miserable as possible” in some cases.

KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports.

An update on ongoing Texas wildfires

There are now 11 active wildfires spread across the state, including one north of Austin in Cedar Park that destroyed an apartment building and damaged three others.

High winds and excessively dry conditions have prompted authorities to raise the fire threat to its second highest level. We’ll hear from Adam Turner with the Texas A&M Forest Service on the latest:

What’s missing in new hires? The skills gap in a post-pandemic landscape

As the nation emerges from the pandemic, an intriguing phenomenon has surfaced in the workforce: New hires, upon starting their roles, often voice a sense of uncertainty about fundamental job responsibilities. It’s as if they’re grappling with the question, “How do I even do that?”

What specific skills are these new employees lacking? Which professions have been most impacted by the learning loss evident among new hires? Douglas Belkin, who covers higher education for the Wall Street Journal, joins us today with answers and more.

Austin ISD is making progress on school safety projects included in 2022 bond

Austinites approved a historic school district bond package last year. It gave the district the green light to borrow more than $2 billion for hundreds of projects: things like renovating campuses, repairing athletic facilities and buying new buses.

The Austin school district will also use bond dollars to improve safety. KUT’s Becky Fogel reports preparations for some of those projects got underway this summer.

50 years of hip-hop: from Kool Herc to Megan Thee Stallion

Five decades ago, DJ Kool Herc’s track “B-Boy” marked a defining moment in the genre’s emergence, as he pioneered the role of a DJ and earned the title of the “father of hip-hop.”

Over these years, hip-hop has evolved into a global cultural force, with an ever-changing artistic landscape that reflects the zeitgeist. Today, artists like Megan Thee Stallion, a Texas native, exemplify the genre’s contemporary impact.

In her new book “Ode to Hip-Hop: 50 Albums That Define 50 Years of Trailblazing Music,” music journalist and culture critic Kiana Fitzgerald chronicles the evolution of hip-hop. From its underground trailblazers to its present-day superstars, Fitzgerald provides a comprehensive view of how the genre has shaped and been shaped by the cultural landscape. She joins us with more today.

There’s a bipartisan drive to revive the US semiconductor sector – by easing environmental restrictions

The Federal Chips and Science Act, enacted last year, seeks to elevate the American semiconductor sector, benefiting companies like Texas Instruments and Samsung with planned chip-making facilities in Texas. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the industry needs more help: a rollback of some environmental regulations. The strange political bedfellows leading the effort include Sen. Ted Cruz and the Democrat who’s vying for his Senate seat, North Texas Rep. Colin Allred.

Matthew Choi has been following this story for the Texas Tribune, where he’s Washington correspondent. He joins us today.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.

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