The area’s economy is in good shape, but there is a problem in matching employees to employers.
Some job-seekers can’t find openings in occupations for which they are well-qualified, while openings in other occupations go unfilled. Workforce Solutions Alamo is working for a solution under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
During a Jan. 6 Target Demand Industry Informational and Stakeholders Meeting at La Vernia City Hall, Miriam Barksdale-Botello, a workforce services specialist with the agency, provided charts and graphs showing the results of various studies on industry trends for the area.
Identifying trends helps in identifying the occupations in demand. In turn, these identified occupations guide the federally funded job training at the Workforce Solution Alamo Workforce Centers.
“We must train our youth in skills employers are looking for,” she said, explaining that the agency can help job seekers find the training they need.
One tool is a statewide list of certified training providers. “We need to get educational institutions on our ETPS [Eligible Trainer Provider System] list,” she said.
Jennifer Kolbe, executive director of the La Vernia Municipal Development District, which sponsored the meeting, asked about assistance for employees who feel they are unable to progress in their careers.
Mary Duran, who accompanied Barksdale-Botello, said there are programs to develop incumbent workers, as well as apprenticeship programs.
Although San Antonio dominates the 12-county area served by Workforce Solutions Alamo, Barksdale said the agency is reaching out to La Vernia and other communities for more input, not only from industry, but also from the general public.
“This is my first time to do a presentation in a rural community,” she said.
Approximately 15 people attended the meeting.
Wilson County job projections
Workforce Solutions Alamo representatives provided projections for job gains in Wilson County by 2022 from figures compiled by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.:
•Service unit operators for gas, oil, and mining: 80
•Construction laborers: 46
•Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers: 45
•Support activities for oil and gas operations: 332
•Water and sewer line and related structures construction: 103
•Hospitals (local government): 58.