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

Subcategories from this category: Press Release, Newsletter

MCALLEN, RGV – Every month, Mike Willis, senior business relations representative for Workforce Solutions in McAllen, produces a report on labor trends in the Rio Grande Valley.

This month’s report included a chart that looked at how far the region has come in eliminating the high levels of unemployment that existed in the early and mid-1990s. Willis titled the section: We’ve Come a Long Way.

“This chart shows the tremendous progress that has been made in the Rio Grande Valley as a result of a concerted effort over many years by our city, county, state, and federal representatives, economic development organizations, educational institutions, regional workforce development boards (Workforce Solutions), and the support of countless businesses, individuals and organizations that have worked to improve the standard of living for our residents,” Willis wrote in his monthly report.

Full report: https://riograndeguardian.com/willis-when-it-comes-to-unemployment-the-valley-has-come-a-long-way/?fbclid=IwAR0kljxl3qwlVN-HM19G3YihjgM639nFVCYkyGzz01kwrusPwvT_Cvn3rME

2018 Q3 Newsletter

Posted by on in Newsletter

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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DATE:            August 17, 2018­

CONTACT:    Mike Gonzalez

PHONE:         956.332.9741

E-MAIL:         mikeg@wfsolutions.org

Workforce Solutions JOBS Program Gives Juveniles a Fresh Start

Graduating Cadets Gain Valuable Skills, Experience, and Employment

Weslaco, TX – The Mario E. Ramirez Juvenile Justice Center graduated four cadets who participated in the Juvenile Opportunity for Better Skills (JOBS) program today. A collaboration between Workforce Solutions and the Judge Mario E. Ramirez Juvenile Justice Center, the JOBS program is designed to help youth ages 16-18 and engage them in a positive work environment to help make their transition into the workforce as seamless as possible.

The program provides a platform for juvenile cadets to use the soft skills they learned through Workforce Solutions Job Readiness Training. The youth received 12 hours of soft skills training in Workplace Etiquette, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution, Interview Skills, Coping with Stress, and Financial Literacy and Time Management to better prepare them for success in the workplace.

The students have been placed in employment and are currently participating in the Workforce Solutions work experience program. Workforce Solutions would like to thank Judge Mario E. Ramirez, Jr., 332nd State District Court, Judge Renee Rodriguez-Betancourt, 449th State District Court Judge Israel Ramon, Jr., 430th State District Court, and Judge Keno Vasquez, 398th State District Court, for their support and outstanding commitment to helping positively shape the lives of our juvenile youth.

Workforce Solutions serves as the governing body for the workforce development area that includes Hidalgo, Willacy, and Starr counties. The primary goal of the WFS Board is to respond to the needs of local employers and workers through locally designed demand-driven workforce development initiatives. The JOBS Program, federally funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), takes that goal and applies it to youth gearing up to enter the workforce.




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