Pictured from left to right: Texas Talent Connection Coordinator, Justin Miller; Business Services Consultant, Mandee Kennedy; Executive Director, Edward Serna, TWC; Lead Business Services Consultant, Alma Pedroza; and Business Services Consultant, Margaret Brothers.

There’s no better way to give back to the men and women who served in the Armed Forces than by helping them get back into the workforce as civilians. In November, the Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley Team participated in the 8th Annual Hiring Red, White and You! (HRWY) job fair at the McNease Convention Center.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that there are 1.7 million veterans in Texas, of which 967,000 are working or actively seeking work. In cooperation with the 28 Local Workforce Development Boards, the Texas Veterans Commission, the Texas Medical Center and Governor Greg Abbott, HRWY connects Texas veterans and their spouses with Texas employers that value the experience, discipline and other exceptional qualities inherent in a military background.

An employer breakfast, along with information on several workforce focused programs, kicked off the day. The event included the Goodfellow AFB Joint Services Color Guard and was followed by playing the National Anthem. Carolyn Allen led the Pledge of Allegiance, then Veteran Employer Liaison with the Texas Veterans Commission Erica Hidalgo, presented the San Angelo Fire Department with the “Veteran Friendly Employer” award for having veterans make up over 10% of their workforce (16.8%).

Over 219 job seekers attended along with 60 employers and eight veteran support organizations. Concho Valley Workforce Services Project Director Matthew Eubanks said, “This was the best HRWY event we have ever had!”  The event wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of the entire Workforce Solutions team. Eubanks added, “Our Business Services Consultants Alma Pedroza, Mandee Kennedy and Margaret Brothers provided outreach to Concho Valley employers in September and October. Additionally, our entire staff ensured that our job seeking customers were prepared for the event through resume development, interview practice and advice on completing applications. Our board staff handled the advertising of the event through several social media platforms and with public service announcements on our local television and radio broadcast companies. It was a great team effort that delivered a professional and productive event for our community.”