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Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas February 2017 Newsletter

Our mission:
The mission of the Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas Board is to provide an effective local service delivery system to place Texans in jobs and to equip workers with skills needed to foster economic development.

Powerful Solutions for a Skilled Workforce

There are many important, and always moving, pieces in the workforce development puzzle. Employers who need to fully, and effectively, staff their operations. Education partners who train students to become workers. Economic developers who cultivate business growth. And then there is the role that we play here at Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, connecting job seekers with employers, students with opportunities, and education with industry. A few recent endeavors illustrate this dynamic perfectly.

On January 10th & 11th we hosted a hiring event for Prairie Dog Pet Products. In preparation for the manufacturer's opening, they needed to fill hundreds of positions. During the two-day event, center and board staff processed 677 job seekers, and assisted the company in hiring 200 new employees. There were 9 staff members who contributed more than 20 hours to accomplish the event. There are approximately 50 more job openings coming down the pipeline each month until a total of 500 positions are filled. This is truly a team effort.

On January 24th & 25th we launched region-wide Industry Sector Partnerships in healthcare and manufacturing. Business and company leaders came together to identify common priorities and opportunities to address challenges across the sector. Community partners in education, workforce, and economic development played a supporting role, gaining an understanding of industry's desires moving forward. Workforce needs were a large part of the conversation. Task forces are now mobilizing around areas of need, all in an effort to create sustainable partnerships that increase industry's competitiveness.

Highlights & Accomplishments
The Junior Lobo Childcare Academy participated in the WOW Youth Expo for the first time in 2016. They made many connections at the event, one of which was with Eula High School. Shortly after WOW, the Life Skills Teacher at Eula followed up on an opportunity for students to job shadow. On January 11th, students assisted at Junior Lobo Academy in Cisco, serving lunches, helping kids make snowmen, and getting them down for naps. The owner of the childcare center expressed her appreciation for such an amazing event bringing together area youth with local employers, and said, "The experience of the WOW Youth Expo has touched many lives today!!"


Throughout December, Workforce Solutions board staff collected blankets, socks, hats, and gloves for a donation to Texas Health and Human Services. After the holidays, we received a huge "THANK YOU!" for our contribution and learned that board staff members were the only group to donate items for HHSC clients during the winter season. They expressed immense gratitude for our support!!


By The Numbers
2016 was a big year for job growth in West Central Texas as the region rebounded from a downturn in the oil & gas industry. The state of Texas experienced a similarly prosperous year, adding an estimated total of 210,200 seasonally adjusted jobs in 2016!


View the Economic Profile for West Central (December 2016)

View the Economic Profile for Abilene MSA (December 2016)


Customer Brag Board

Calendar of Events

2/15: Board Meeting (Lonestar Room) - 12pm
2/20: President's Day Holiday - All Offices Closed
2/22: TEDC Legislative Conference (Austin) - All Day
2/24: The Business Clinic (WCT Council of Governments) - 9am
3/22: Business Expo (Abilene Civic Center) - All Day

The West Central Texas Council of Governments is hosting The Business Clinic on February 24th from 9am to 3pm. When is the last time your business had a check-up? Managing current assets, trying to make improvements, and identifying market opportunities in a quick-changing world is a complex undertaking. The best teachers are often peers who are practitioners who have, primarily, learned by doing. The Business Clinic will help you assess what you are doing well and identify areas for growth in 2017. This is a cost-effective way to take a break from working in your business to work on your business.
Get more information or register today!