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Section dedicated for articles, newsletters, announcements, media publications, etc. 

Subcategories from this category: Press Release, Newsletter


DATE:             January 11, 2019

CONTACT:     Mike Gonzalez

PHONE:         956.332.9741

E-MAIL:         mikeg@wfsolutions.org

South Texas College Receives Job-Training Grants Totaling Over $1.3 Million for Healthcare and Technology Training

Three JET Grants to help create new opportunities for jobs and education

McAllen, TX – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded South Texas College three individual grants on Friday, Jan. 11: a $249,096 Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant; a $655,153 Skills Development Fund (Skills) grant to a health care consortium; and a $409,890 Skills grant to a manufacturing consortium. The grants will benefit workers in the Workforce Solutions areas of Lower Rio Grande Valley, Middle Rio Grande, and South Texas.

The $249,096 JET grant will help the college purchase and install equipment to provide 1,322 students with training for careers in the information technology field as computer, networking, and cyber security specialists.

In addition, local grant partners are collaborating with South Texas College to provide job training using Skills grants from TWC. A health care consortium, consisting of McAllen Medical Center; McAllen Heart Hospital; Edinburg Regional Medical Center; Edinburg Children’s Hospital; Cornerstone Regional Hospital; STHS ER at Mission; STHS ER at Weslaco; Doctors Hospital of Laredo; and Fort Duncan Medical Center and Women’s Center, will use a $655,153 grant to provide custom training to 1,167 new and incumbent workers in the health care and social assistance industry. Examples of trainees to include: echo technicians, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, mammography technicians, emergency room technicians, housekeepers, CNAs and more. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average hourly wage of $31.32.

Workforce Solutions works with all schools, colleges, and universities within Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties to help increase their technical capacities. If you’re interested in learning more about the JET grant or Skills grant, contact us at 956-687-1121.



TWC Grant Award Check Presentation

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DATE:           December 17, 2018

CONTACT:    Mike Gonzalez

PHONE:         956.332.9741

E-MAIL:         mikeg@wfsolutions.org

Lower Rio Workforce Solutions Board Awarded $80,000 in Funding

Funding Will Be Utilized in Programs to Serve the Community

McAllen, TX – Workforce Solutions was awarded a combined total of $80,000 for outstanding performance in the Texas HireAbility, Claimant Reemployment, and Industry Sector Outreach programs on November 28, 2018. The Annual Texas Workforce Conference showcases the initiatives and programs being implemented by workforce boards across the state and gives boards the opportunity to share proven practices with each other to promote optimal performance.

Mercedes native and Chairman of the Workforce Solutions Lower Rio Board, Jaime Ortiz, says that the awards are representative of the board’s commitment to collaboration. “A team that works together is able to accomplish a lot, and that’s what we have here. The Lower Rio board goes to great lengths to ensure that the needs of the community are being addressed, whether it be by helping job seekers secure employment or providing child care assistance to families in need.”

“Each year, our dedicated staff make a difference within their community through their work,” says Workforce Solutions Lower Rio CEO Francisco Almaraz of the board’s continued success at the annual conference. “We’re thrilled that our efforts were recognized and are eager to utilize the funding to better our community.“

Workforce Solutions has proudly served the Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties, providing a variety of services for job seekers, employers, students and others. We are located in Weslaco, Mission, Raymondville, Rio Grande City, and Edinburg.

46192495051 b7dfeff8a5 ob2ap3_thumbnail_46192495051_b7dfeff8a5_o.jpg

Workforce Solutions Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development Board d.b.a. Workforce Solutions poses with awards.

Photo credit: James Edward

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July - September, 2018 |  Quarterly Newsletter


New Grant Helps Train Eligible Applicants 

Earlier this year, Workforce Solutions partnered with South Texas College (STC) and McAllen Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to submit a $71,500 High Demand Training (HDJT) Grant to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Fortunately for our community, the grant was approved! The project will train 60 incumbent and new workers in Industrial Maintenance and Industrial Robotic Automation. 

Industrial Maintenance and Industrial Robotic Automation are valuable in the manufacturing industry. The constant advances in automation serve as a pathway into the industry, which is ideal for those interested in manufacturing. In Texas, there are approximately 17,500 manufacturing firms, with 80 of those in Hidalgo County alone. These firms make up 6.9% of the workforce, employing an estimated 875,000 Texans, including 7,200 in Hidalgo county. 

The training for Industrial Automation and Robotics began September 10, 2018 whereas the Industrial Maintenance training is scheduled for November 12, 2018.

For more information, call Workforce Solutions at 956-683-3718.

Still Courtesy of Workforce Solutions Cameron

Workforce Solutions Provides Teachers with Externships

In March 2018, Workforce Solutions was awarded the Texas Workforce Commission Externship for Teachers grant in the amount of $241,774 to provide 180 middle school and high school teachers and counselors from the Rio Grande Valley with externship opportunities at local employers. 

The externship gives teachers the opportunity gain experience in a different work enviornment that they can then incorporate into a lesson plan to share with students in the classroom.  The project is in partnership with Workforce Solutions Cameron, Region One Education Service Center, MEDC, McAllen Foreign Trade Zone, and the Rio Grande Valley Linking Economic and Academic Development (RGV LEAD).

The first cohort of 57 teachers representing 7 school districts completed their three week externship in June 2018.  The 57 teachers were placed at 33 employer sites.  The second cohort of 117 teachers representing 15 school districts completed their three day externship in July 2018.  The 117 teachers were placed at 46 employer sites.  A total of 174 teachers successfully completed the externship program.

"We value our educators, as they help us shape the future each time they step into a classroom. This program gives us the opportunity to help teachers gain insight into various industries that we hope they can share with their students," says WFS CEO Francisco Almaraz. "We would like to thank all of the employers who graciously accepted teachers into their businesses and helped make this program a success."


2018 RGV Job Fair Brings Opportunity to Over 1,400 Job Seekers

The 4th Annual RGV Job Fair was held on July 19, 2018 at the Pharr Events Center in Pharr, TX.  A collaborative effort between Workforce Solutions and Pharr Economic Development Corporation, the event had 70 employers and over 1,400 job seekers in attendance. Employers representing industries such as healthcare, agriculture, retail were all able to meet and interact with local job seekers. 

"I think it's a great opportunity because many employers get to come together under one roof and really be here for every applicant that is looking for a job," said Marie Garcia of SAM Engineering & Surveying, an employer who participated in the event. "It's a great opportunity for people who are not able to go place to place (because) they can come to one location and visit all the employers at the same time."

A quick recap of our employer testimonial video can be found on our Facebook page, @WFSolutions, or by clicking here.


Summer Earn and Learn Program Helps Students with Disabilities

In April 2018, Workforce Solutions received $480,000 to implement the Summer Earn and Learn Program (SEAL). The program is designed to serve 135 students with disabilities between the ages of 16-22 and provide participants a five week paid work experience and job readiness training. SEAL is a statewide initiative that provides employability skills training and paid work experience for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities can struggle to transition into the workforce, so by partnering with local employers dedicated to employing a diverse staff, our community has been able to enrich the lives of over 100 students.  

A total of 146 students completed the job readiness training. As of August 14, 2018, 133 students completed the SEAL work experience program with 13 students currently at worksites projected to complete the program by the end of August 2018. Students were placed at 55 employer sites located in Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties. Participating employers include, but are not limited to:

  • Foy's Supermarket 
  • Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley 
  • Sky Park 
  • Border Town Foods 
  • Dollar Tree 
  • Walgreens 


Women Veterans Seminar Hopes Focuses on Suicide Prevention

In 2014, more than 7,400 veterans took their own lives, accounting for 18 percent of all suicides in America. The suicide rate among women who have served in the U.S. military is more than twice as high as that of adult civilian women, according to figures released by the Department for Veteran Affairs.

Bearing that crucial information in mind, Tropical Texas Behavioral Health partnered with Workforce Solutions to host the 3rd Annual Women Veterans Seminar on September 28 - 29, 2018.

The event caters to female veterans through offerings such as social networking for women veterans, informational sessions, as well as employment & resource fairs. Additionally, they will also have access to experts specializing in:

- Mental Health
- Employment and Education
- Disability Claims
- Suicide Prevention

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.

Upcoming Events

For the most accurate information, please visit our Calendar of Events!

  • Women In Business Conference & Expo - October 11, 2018
  • Hiring Red, White & You! Job Fair - November 8, 2018
  • RGV LEAD Conference - December 6 - 7, 2018

Copyright © 2018 Workforce Solutions - Lower Rio Grande Valley, All rights reserved. Workforce Solutions is one of 28 Texas Workforce Development Boards serving Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties. 


Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Development Board dba Workforce Solutions is an equal opportunity employer/program and auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to include individuals with disabilities. TTY/TDD via RELAY Texas service at 711 or (TDD) 1-800-735-2989/1-800-735-2988 (voice).

Our mailing address is:

3101 W. Business 83 :: McAllen, TX 78501

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