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Newsletter

Our newsletter is the best way keep up with the latest developments in the workforce! Sign up below for updates on how Workforce and the community are improving day by day. 
 
Posted by on in Newsletter

July - September, 2018 |  Quarterly Newsletter

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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.


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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."


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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.


SEAL

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 

FEMVET

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. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IS THE LAW

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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DJ

Workforce Solutions Welcomes Two New Team Members

Due to the ever-changing nature of our workforce and job ecosystem, Workforce Solutions (WFS) understands that change is necessary in order to better serve our community. Within the scope of our duties lies student services, and if we further delve into that area, we find a variety of programs and services intended to help students with disabilities enter the workforce. 

To suit the specific needs of that audience, WFS created two Student HireAbility Navigator positions, held by Del Diaz and Jeannette Escalera. Their role is to help improve the system services and collaboration of organizations that serve students with disabilities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley service area. The Student HireAbility Navigator program will focus exclusively on services for students with disabilities who are in the early phases of preparing for transition to postsecondary education and employment. Each Student HireAbility Navigator serves as a resource in the workforce development area to support, expand, and enhance the provision of pre-employment services that are provided by VR as well as the other partners and programs in the workforce development area.

Navigators performs duties and provide deliverables in the following three focus areas: 

  • Capacity building and systems development
  • Partnering and collaboration
  • Informing and engaging employers

The overarching goal of the activities within the three focus areas is to increase the likelihood of students' independence and inclusion in communities and competitive integrated workplaces, and their successful participation in postsecondary education experiences.  

Congratulations to Del and Jeannette! We look forward to the positive effect that your work will have on our community. For employment opportunities,  upcoming events, and the latest WFS developments, visit us at wfsolutions.org or call us at 956-687-1121.

 

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WFS to Broadcast Labor Market Information Updates on Facebook Live 

In June, 2018, Workforce Solutions Communications Specialist, Mike Gonzalez, and Senior Business Relations Representative, Mike Willis, went live on Facebook for what we hope will grow to become a quick and useful overview of the latest labor market information (LMI) data.

Social media has become a valuable tool for WFS, and with a resource like Facebook Live, we're able to broadcast relevant information to an audience of nearly 10,000 followers. Each month, Mike G. and Mike W. will break down the numbers and figures provided in the LMI so viewers in our service area can use the data to their advantage. 

LMI gives us the most current labor market highlights and developments across the state. The information is produced and published on a monthly basis and includes data on nonagricultural job trends, the labor force, job postings, and other relevant indicators for both the state and sub-state areas. Additional data and historical information is available on Tracer2.com.

Like and follow @WFSolutions on Facebook to catch our live LMI reports!

 

 CA

TWC Chairman Alcantar Announces Retirement 

After nearly a decade of service, TWC Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar today announced his retirement from state service effective July 31.

In regards to the announcement, WFS Chief Executive Officer Francisco Almaraz states: "During his tenure as the Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public, Andres Alcantar worked diligently to ensure that local workforce boards maintained the liberty to effectively service their regions to the highest standard possible. Our ability to reach and serve so many people here in the Rio Grande Valley have only been supplemented by his leadership, and although the board and I are saddened over the news of his resignation, we are grateful for the positive change that his influence was able to bring to our great state of Texas.” 

Chairman Alcantar was appointed Commissioner by former Governor Rick Perry effective August 4, 2008. From the start, he strengthened relationships with local workforce board leaders and key stakeholders to honor local flexibility and advance innovation in service delivery. Additionally, he worked to implement customized services and promoted industry-based partnerships to meet the needs of Texas’ vast array of industries and advance the development of a strong competitive workforce.

 

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Workforce Solutions Awarded $81,076 Texas Talent Connection Grant

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) made a visit to the McAllen Convention Center on February 9, 2018 to engage with area employers, human resource professionals, business owners and managers at the Texas Business Conference. The intent behind the meeting was to inform and educate our constituents on the employment law update. The conference provided valuable information for employers and business owners concerning the legal issues associated with operating a business in Texas.

“We are committed to providing employers with the information they need to succeed,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “The Texas Business Conference brings valuable resources to help employers effectively navigate through state and federal employment laws.”

Workforce Solutions facilitated the event by coordinating a Q&A session with local employers such as Spectrum and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. The session provided employers with practical, up-to-date information for operating a successful business along with techniques to more effectively manage employees. Seminar topics included: Texas employment law and the basics of hiring; federal and Texas wage and hour laws; employee policy handbooks and many more.

 

JOBS

JOBS Program Prepares At-Risk Youth for Success in the Workplace

The Juvenile Opportunity for Better Skills (JOBS) program is designed to assist Hidalgo County at-risk youth from the Judge Mario E. Ramirez Juvenile Justice Center with opportunities to strengthen their soft skills and establish work experience.  

In July 2018, Workforce Solutions conducted a 16 hour job readiness training for 16 and 17 year old students who are currently being housed at the juvenile justice center.  The students completed the 16 hour soft skills training in preparation for placement in a work experience job site. The program provides at-risk youth with skills and experience needed to become productive citizens upon release. 

"Our youth deserves to be guided toward success," says Francisco Almaraz, WFS CEO. "With programs like this one, WFS is able to serve as a beacon of light for youth whom at one point, strayed and found themselves lost. Mistakes should not define us, but rather, refine us." 

 

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2018 Child Care Symposium 

Each year, Workforce Solutions child care providers from across the RGV are invited to support the practice of quality child care within our community.

With over 1,000 attendees across the span of two days, the 2018 Child Care Symposium was a huge success. Participants were able to engage with early childhood development experts through interactive workshops, all the while witihin an environment promoting professional networking opportunites to learn how to apply best practices in the field. 

Marisa E. Oliva and Albert Wright captivated audiences with knowledge earned through experience and inspiring tales that highlighted the importance having a passion for your craft. 

We're honored to lift up our child care providers, who play a vital role in the workforce system, and will continue to support the professional development of their invaluable skills.

 

Upcoming Events

    • McAllen Public Library Job Fair - August 25th, 2018
    • Annual Women Veterans Seminar: Focusing on Suicide Prevention - September 28 - 29, 2018
    • WFS Board of Directors Strategic Planning Workshop -  September 28 - 29, 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. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IS THE LAW

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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2018 Q1 Newsletter

Posted by on in Newsletter

wfsbuilding.png

Workforce and KRGV Partner to Combat Unemployment

Workforce Solutions (WFS) kicked off 2018 with a special collaboration with our community partners at KRGV Channel 5 News. Four times a year, KRGV’s Heart of the Valley program goes in depth to illuminate one critical issue, cause, or need, to help create positive change within the community. In January the program focused on Employment, and Workforce Solutions participated not only by providing information on the topic, but also by hosting a valley-wide job fair. 

The job fair took place at each of our WFS offices and spanned three counties (Willacy, Starr, & Hidalgo). KRGV reporters were onsite and reporting from the beginning at 9 am until the very end at 2 pm. Thanks to the daily coverage they were able to provide coupled with our community outreach, we had nearly 1,000 job seekers attend the event across five locations. 

As a non-profit organization, it is our mission to engage with the community in a way that will create a positive change, so the collaboration with KRGV was something we were more than eager to work on. Any opportunity to spread awareness on our services is an opportunity for us to give back to the RGV. 

Interested in our upcoming events? Visit our redesigned website at wfsolutions.org to use our Calendar of Events along with other useful resources!

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Workforce Solutions Encourages STEAM Educations with Inaugural Child Care Camp

Workforce Solutions hosted the inaugural Child Care Camp "Powered by STEAM" during Spring Break for preschool and school age children enrolled in Texas Rising Star (TRS) child care facilities. The purpose of the event was to introduce and encourage children to engage in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities.

Age appropriate activities were organized by community organizations, such as: Code RGV, First RGV, International Museum of Art & Science, Lakeshore Learning, McAllen Recycling Center, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – UT Cares Club and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – STEM department. The two-day camp was attended by approximately 500 children.

Early STEAM experiences have demonstrated to have a positive influence in supporting academic success. Our community partners at the Pharr Economic Development Corporation, Pharr Events Center, and all of our child care partners came together to make this event memorable for the children in attendance. 

WFSMAINPAGE.png

Annual Impact Report Now Available Online

At the end of each year, Workforce Solutions develops an annual report comprised of successful events, initiatives that made a positive impact in our community, information on in-demand occupation pathways and much more.

This document covers fiscal year 2017 and is the first WFS Impact Report to be made available online. See how we made an impact last year by visiting us online at wfsolutions.org.

TBC.png

2018 Texas Business Conference 

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) made a visit to the McAllen Convention Center on February 9, 2018 to engage with area employers, human resource professionals, business owners and managers at the Texas Business Conference. The intent behind the meeting was to inform and educate our constituents on the employment law update. The conference provided valuable information for employers and business owners concerning the legal issues associated with operating a business in Texas.

“We are committed to providing employers with the information they need to succeed,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “The Texas Business Conference brings valuable resources to help employers effectively navigate through state and federal employment laws.”

Workforce Solutions facilitated the event by coordinating a Q&A session with local employers such as Spectrum and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. The session provided employers with practical, up-to-date information for operating a successful business along with techniques to more effectively manage employees. Seminar topics included: Texas employment law and the basics of hiring; federal and Texas wage and hour laws; employee policy handbooks and many more.

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McAllen Public Library 2018 Job Fair  

Workforce Solutions partnered up with the City of McAllen once again to help put together the McAllen Public Library 2018 Job Fair on February 3rd, 2018. The event continued the tradition of success that the prior year exemplified, with 850 job seekers in attendance. 

The event had no shortage of employers either; over 45 employers such as the United States Border Patrol, South Texas Health Systems, Texas Department of Public Safety, and many more were able to extend opportunities to RGV citizens. 

Workforce Solutions is always happy to assist our community partners in creating the most successful job fairs and hiring events possible. If you would like to work with us, please visit us at wfsolutions.org to see the services that we provide AT NO COST. 

 

Upcoming Events

  • Halliburton Job Fair, June 12th, 2018
  • Child Care Symposium, June 29th - 30th, 2018
  • Summer Earn and Learn Work Experience - June, 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. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IS THE LAW

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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