Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB) was notified by the Office of the Governor and the Texas Workforce Investment Council that it was recommended for $241,772 in grant funding to place 60 youth into job training for emerging industries in the El Paso region.
Entitled Reboot El Paso!, this program falls under WSB’s TechHire initiative, a national effort of 72 different communities to create opportunities for career pathways in Computer Science and Information Technology.
The grant will also build upon the YouthBuild model, an evidence-based practice employed by 260 communities nationwide and tailored specifically for disenfranchised youth between the ages of 16 and 24.
The program will offer training/certification in IT Fundamentals and A+ as well as support high school equivalency attainment that will transition youth from the El Paso region into promising career pathways.
The grant is part of a yearlong partnership with the Texas Governor’s office.
The Office of the Governor and the City of El Paso’s Economic Development Department are pleased to announce that El Paso will host a Governor’s Small Business Forum on August 10, 2017.
Governor’s Small Business Forums are designed to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with timely, relevant, actionable advice to assist them in growing their business.
The El Paso Governor’s Small Business Forum will bring local entrepreneurs and small businesses valuable tools, skills, and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced economy. This year’s Forum will highlight business fundamentals, attracting and retaining a dynamic workforce, and innovation and entrepreneurship.
Additionally, this event will provide a great opportunity to network and connect with industry specialists, government officials, service providers, and the regional business community. Lunch and parking will be provided.
The Governor’s Small Business Forum is made possible through the joint efforts of the Office of the Governor, the City of El Paso, Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions Borderplex, The Borderplex Alliance, Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, County of El Paso, and Destination El Paso.
WHO: The Office of the Governor and the City of El Paso Economic Development Department
WHAT: Governor’s Small Business Forum
WHERE: El Paso Convention Center – 1 Civic Center Plaza
The Workforce Solutions Borderplex, along with El Paso Community College, City of El Paso, and Texas Workforce Solutions are hosting their 2nd Annual Accessibility Summit Wednesday at EPCC’s offices in East-Central El Paso.
Local business owners, managers, human resources and administrative personnel will benefit from this event which provides information on assistance technology, company benefits, resources regarding accommodations, and gain access to motivated employees.
For more information about the summit call Workforce Solutions Borderplex Business Services at 915-887-2332 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: El Paso Community College, 9050 Viscount Blvd., Building A (behind Fountains at Farah)
Employer Workshops from 9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m.
Employer Lunch and Setup from 11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.
Job Fair from 12:00p.m. to 3:30p.m.
This summer, El Pasoans will see more than their kids growing at local child care facilities.
Through a program spearheaded by Workforce Solutions Borderplex Child Care Services (CCS), vegetables are being grown by children and their child care providers at over 45 child care facilities.
The projects include two raised vegetable beds per facility, installed with soil ready for planting.
“Getting involved with nature supports the social and emotional development of children. In this program, the children will learn about the natural elements by taking care of their gardens and watching the vegetables grow over time,” said Vera Olivas, Provider Services Director at Workforce Solutions Borderplex Child Care Services. “We hope they will want to eat their home-grown vegetables too, as well as including their parents in their new love for gardening.”
The participating child care facilities are found all over El Paso. All are affiliated with the Texas Rising Star (TRS) program which is a voluntary, quality-based child care rating system of child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program.
TRS Certification is available to Licensed Center and Licensed and Registered Child Care Home providers who meet the certification criteria. The TRS Provider certification system offers three levels of certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage providers to attain progressively higher certification requirements leading to a Four-Star level.
With funding it received through the Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions Borderplex invested $20,000 in the Raised Vegetable Garden project which reinforces the point based criteria for child care activities involving natural elements for outdoor environments.
While summer has just begun and the vegetable plants are at various stages, each child care provider is encouraged to continue their outdoor gardening activities as the seasons change.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB), along with over 40 employers in the fields of Construction, Transportation and Advanced Logistics, are hosting a job fair this Wednesday, May 17 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Lower Valley Career Center.
Prior to attending, job seekers are encouraged to visit their nearest workforce center and meet with a Career Navigator who can prepare them by improving resumes, providing interviewing skills and tips on professional attire.
The address is 8825 North Loop, Suite 122; the event is free and open to the public.
List of Employers Participating (as of May 15, 2017):
The 2017 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) Fiesta, which is coordinated annually by Workforce Solutions Borderplex and the STEAM Fiesta Committee, announced the winners during an awards ceremony last week.
This was the culmination of efforts that impacted regional middle school students along with high school competitors. The multidimensional, two-day event for middle and high school students was designed to increase student awareness of career opportunities in STEAM disciplines.
In conjunction with a long list of corporate sponsors, Workforce Solutions Borderplex is pleased to announce the following scholarships and competition winners:
El Paso Electric
Andrew Raul Munoz- Mission Early College
Megan Paredes- Loretto Academy
Melissa Nicole Dominguez- Del Valle HS
Natalia Gastelo- Del Valle HS
Ulises Cardoza – San Elizario HS
Samantha Dale Aziz- Northwest Early College
Cynthia Yadira Reyes – Fabens HS
Liza R. Barron – Presidio HS
Damaris Peraza – Presidio HS
Isiah Jamal Hairston – Del Valle HS
El Paso Community College
Gerardo Alberto Garcia – Mission Early College HS
Erick Alvarez Velazquez – Valle Verde Early College HS
Hanadi Sonouper – Montwood HS
2nd Place Winning Team: Presidio High School
1st Place Winning Team: Irvin High School
JAVA CODING, Sponsored by Sigma
2nd Place Winning Team: Chapin High School
1st Place Winning Team: Coronado High School
APP Design Competition, Sponsored by Western Tech
2nd Place Winning Team: Coronado High School
1st Place Winning Team: Northwest Early College
STEM Business Challenge, Sponsored by the Hospitals of Providence
Track 1 2nd Place Winning Team: Iscape from Valle Verde Early College
Track 1 1st Place Winning Team: Creo Vera from Riverside
Track 2 2nd Place Winning Team: P.T.T.8. from Del Valle High School
Track 2 1st Place Winning Team: K.A.A.P. from Valle Verde Early College
Growing on Mars Architecture Competition, Sponsored by Texas Tech
3rd Place: Fabens High School
2nd Place: Burges High School
1st Place: Riverside High School
Prudential Math Counts Middle School Winners
3rd Place: W. Clarke Middle School
2nd Place: Canutillo Middle School
1st Place: Marfa Junior High
Prduential Math Challenge High School Winners
2nd Place: Pebble Hills High School
1st Place: Riverside High School
Over $34,000 in cash prizes and scholarships was awarded to students and schools.
For more information on how to get involved with Workforce Solutions Borderplex and the 2018 STEAM program, please contact, Joseph Sapien, STEAM Project Manager for Workforce Solutions Borderplex at (915) 240- 5571 or by email at email@example.com
Two years ago, the Prudential Foundation announced a commitment of $870,000 to help build a next-generation workforce in El Paso. Since then, Prudential’s investment has impacted two programs: the Prudential Math Challenge Competition created for high school students and MATHCOUNTS targeted at middle schoolers.
The second Prudential Math Challenge Competition, which will be held in conjunction with the annual STEAM Fiesta hosted by Workforce Solutions Borderplex, is a math modeling competition that challenges high school students to respond to a real-world problem in real time.
On Monday, three finalist teams were announced from:
Pebble Hills High School
Presidio High School
Riverside High School
They will compete at the El Paso Community College in Building B, located at 9050 Viscount, at 3:00pm on Friday, April 7, 2017. Results will be announced immediately following the competition.
Earlier this year, MATHCOUNT grants were awarded to the following middle schools to start or further math clubs within in their schools:
Canutillo Middle School
East Montana Middle School
Eastwood Knolls International School
Marfa Junior High
Parkland Middle School
Riverside Middle School
Ross Middle School
Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School
Socorro Middle School
Clarke Middle School
William D. Slider Middle School
All of the middle schools listed above were invited to compete in a video challenge. The winners from that competition will be announced at the STEAM Fiesta Awards event on Friday, April 7, 2017 at 5:00pm.
Prudential funded MATHCOUNTS to increase math competency by offering funds to public middle schools in order to implement a nationally-recognized MATHCOUNTS program. This innovative model provides students real-world experiences that cannot be replicated in the classroom.
Participation in MATHCOUNTS during middle school will increase participation in the Prudential Math Challenge Competition for future years, as well as enhance interest and confidence in applied mathematics, a crucial competency for all STEAM-related fields.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the non-profit organization dedicated to employment, education and economic development, Thursday announced the appointment of Mr. Bill Coon to the Board of Directors.
“Mr. Coon has over two decades of experience working with programs for both adults and young people and the relationships he has in our community will be invaluable to our efforts,” said Joyce Wilson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Borderplex. “We look forward to bridging his background to enhance our organization’s partnerships.”
Since 2013, Mr. Coon has been the President and CEO of the YMCA of El Paso, where he also served as Executive Director for five years. His career history includes executive or leadership positions for the following organizations: Boys and Girls Clubs of El Paso, Goodwill Industries of El Paso, Candlelighters of the El Paso Area, the Central YMCA, and the American Heart Association. Mr. Coon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Southwest Oklahoma State University.
He also serves the Sun Bowl Association as a Board Member and on several committees.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex is a non-profit organization aimed to help improve the quality of life in a six-county region. That region encompasses the counties of Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio.
The organization consists of a 27- member Board of Directors responsible for strategic guidance and policy governance to achieve goals focusing on employment, education and economic development. Funding comes from the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB), The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) College of Engineering, the Texas Tech College of Architecture, and Money Smart Week El Paso will be hosting an educational rally promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) this Saturday, January 14, 2017, from 9am to 12pm in the Chapin High School Gymnasium at 7000 Dyer Street.
The purpose of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Meet & STEAM Rally is to increase participation among middle and high school students in robotics and project-based learning competitions.
UTEP’s College of Engineering will have its final FTC Meet with 17 teams from various high schools competing to prepare for its qualifying league championship on February 4, at UTEP’s Memorial Gym. FTC is an UIL sanctioned competition geared for middle and high school students seeking a “more than robots” experience.
This year’s FTC teams will be eligible to compete in the UTEP Robotics Invitational on April 6, at this year’s STEAM Fiesta.
WSB’s project-based learning competitions provide students fun interactive learning experiences that encourage talented young minds to solve current problems and future issues using STEAM principles.
Competitions include: the Prudential Math Challenge, the STEM Business Challenge, Java Coding, App Design and the STEAMentorship Exhibit Design.
Texas Tech College of Architecture will also be providing a technical workshop for students and teachers interested in competing in the “Growing on Mars” competition.
Competition creators will be onsite to provide valuable information regarding each competition. Teams will also be able to register onsite during the rally.
Interested teams have until January 31, 2017 to register to compete. Registration is free and accessible online. Finals will take place at the STEAM Fiesta on Friday, April 7, 2017.
Money Smart Week El Paso campaign representatives will also be at the rally to provide financial literacy information and register students for “Money Smart Week El Paso Story/Video Contest.”
Workforce Solutions Borderplex will be coordinating a city-wide hiring fair for the YMCA this Saturday, December 17, 2016. The YMCA is seeking to fill part-time positions in class and program instruction.
Job locations vary according to the needs at each YMCA branch.
All applicants should have experience and training/certifications. Applicants must prepare a 10-minute demonstration of their class and come dressed to teach using music and relevant equipment.
Small Group Instructors
Aquatics and Lifeguards
Youth Program Instructors – Dance, Cheerleading, Wrestling, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, and More
Who: Workforce Solutions Borderplex, YMCA, and Experienced Instructors
What: YMCA City-Wide Hiring Fair
When: Saturday, December 17, 2017 from 2:00-4:00pm
Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB) celebrated the contributions of its board members and business partners at their recent Annual Board Meeting.
At the event, Board Chair Leo A. Duran Sr. introduced the first ever Business Partner Awards and the Chairman’s Award for special contributions by a board member.
“Our board members and business partners are exceptional and we are so pleased to get to recognize them this way,” said Board Chair Leo A. Duran Sr. “Launching what will be a new tradition is meaningful and impactful to our organization.”
The 2016 Chairman’s Award was presented to EPCC’s Dr. William Serrata
Dr. William Serrata has supported WSB in numerous projects. He has lead partnership discussions for Skills Development Fund Grants and has graciously allowed WSB to use EPCC facilities at no cost for the Regional Workforce & Education Forum, the TWC Veteran’s Forum and two STEAM Fiesta events.
Under his direction, EPCC donated a $1,000 scholarship to WSB. Dr. Serrata currently chairs the Education Committee.
Small Business Partner of the Year Award went to Aztec Contractors.
Frank Spencer, Owner and Nancy Leanos, Office Manager of Aztec Contractors have been advocates of WSB employer tools for almost two years.
They work closely with WSB recruiters to find qualified job seekers for higher skilled positions in the construction field.
Aztec has participated in Industry Council Roundtables as well as industry job fairs. Mr. Spencer is also a WSB board member.
Excel Garment Manufacturing was honored with the Medium Business Partner of the Year Award.
Excel Garment Manufacturing is an active employer who utilizes the WSB to find quality candidates. Paola Miranda, HR Specialist, serves as an asset to the WSB Business Services Unit.
Since May 2015, Excel has participated in two of the largest industry job fairs targeting the manufacturing industry.
In 2016, Excel held eight onsite job fairs to fill their various sewing positions. The company has also participated in our two Manufacturing Industry Council Roundtables.
The Large Business Partner of the Year Award went to Charles Schwab.
Charles Schwab’s open communication and feedback on WSB’s Business Services Unit has allowed the organization to assist the company with higher wage employment opportunities.
Senior Talent Sourcing Advisor at Charles Schwab, Jodie Meyerov, has partnered with WSB in four large industry job fairs.
Her job postings in WorkinTexas.com have allowed her to locate quality employees. In January 2016, she participated in the WSB staff retreat. Jodie has gone above and beyond by hosting a developmental workshop during the SISD Career Expo in which she provided job seekers with guidance and information about improving resume and interview skills.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex, in conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission, will be hosting a statewide job fair geared for veterans with 85 confirmed employers at the Ft. Bliss Centennial Conference Center on Thursday, November 10, 2016.
The event will kick off with an opening ceremony to include state, local and military representatives welcoming veterans to this career transition opportunity. The opening ceremony will take place from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and will include a presentation of the colors and a POW/MIA remembrance ceremony.
Special guest speakers will include Texas State Representative District 76, Cesar J. Blanco; Deputy Executive Director, Texas Workforce Commission, Ed Serna; Workforce Solutions Borderplex Board Chair, Leo A. Duran; Texas Veterans Commission, Bruce Biegel; and other key stakeholders.
“Every year the Red, White and You Statewide Veterans Job Fair attracts more and more employers who understand the value of skills veterans bring to the workforce,“ said Joyce Wilson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Borderplex. “We are ready to put them to work.”
The targeted industries for the Hiring Red, White and You! Job Fair are Information Technology (I.T.), Government, Retail and Healthcare. The industries targeted align closely with the type of jobs service men and women transition into their civilian lives.
These industries are also targeted due to the high hiring trends during the current season.
Over 600 jobs have been reported by employers so far. The event is free and open to all job seekers, including non-veterans.
During the month of October, Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB) and its partners at the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities will promote employment opportunities for Texans who possess significant knowledge and skills and also have a disability.
The Texas HireAbility campaign recently launched in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month to raise awareness of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.
As part of the statewide and national effort, WSB would like to remind employers and job seekers in the counties of Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio that there are resources dedicated and available to people with disabilities.
WSB has an unprecedented ten years of experience instituting programs, developed with oversight from the only formal Disability Advocacy Subcommittee among the 28 regional workforce boards in Texas, that provide equality of opportunity. This includes nondiscrimination, individualization, and inclusion/integration activities.
In 2015, this strategy helped WSB place 1127 persons self-identified with a disability in employment, including 483 veterans and 54 youth.
This week, WSB will host the Ability Hiring Fair on Wednesday, October 12th from 9:00a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 8825 N. Loop, Suite 122. The event will offer the following workshops: Hiring & Retaining Individuals with Disabilities; Interview Accommodations; Practice Interviews Specifically for Individuals with Disabilities; and Benefits to Businesses that Employ Individuals with Disabilities.
Job seekers can call (915) 887-2600 for more information and businesses interested in participating should contact the WSB business service unit at (915) 887-2332.
WSB leads by example by contracting with Ready One Industries. Ready One employs individuals with significant disabilities and delivers high quality call center and document management services to WSB. Most notably, WSB after-hours call center includes three highly capable individuals with disabilities.
Goodwill Industries of El Paso is a recent addition to the WSB service network. Goodwill was sub -contracted due to their 62 years of expertise in training and employing individuals with significant barriers to employment. Goodwill continues to have a presence in WSB resource centers and institute WSB/Goodwill’s Job Link Centers to further extend access to universal services.
“The benefits to partners involved and the disability and employer communities are critical in breaking down barriers and eliminating disability myths,” said Joyce Wilson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Borderplex.
The Breaking Barriers summer youth with disabilities program works in collaboration with key organizations that serve the disabled. In El Paso, the Volar Center for Independent Living and the Texas Vocational Rehabilitative Services Agency (VRS), and Workforce Solutions Borderplex worked to collaborate for ten years on the unique partnership which leverages resources and provides a seamless project model.
During its lifetime, Breaking Barriers has served more than 350 youth and 150 employers. This year’s Breaking Barriers Summer Employment Ceremony will take place at Region 19 located on 6611 Boeing Drive on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. Registration starts at 5:30p.m. The media is invited to cover this event.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex released their November 2015 unemployment number, and the news for the region is generally good.
According to the numbers, in November 2015, the El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) unemployment rate was 0.5 points higher than the unemployment rate for the City of El Paso.
The unemployment rate for the city was at 4.7% which signified a 0.1 % decrease from the previous month, and a decrease of by 0.6 % since last year.
While the unemployment rate for El Paso was higher than the rate for the State of Texas (4.5%), it was still lower than the National unemployment rate of 4.8%. Meanwhile in the county, the unemployment rate was 5.2%, which was higher than the unemployment rate for the state of Texas (4.5%), and higher than United States (4.8%).
The El Paso (MSA) ranked 21st out of the 25 Texas MSAs in terms of unemployment rates.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex also measured the three Super Sectors with the greatest employment for the El Paso MSA in November 2015.
Numbers revealed they were (1) Government; (2) Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and (3) Educational and Health Services. These three Super Sectors represented 59% of the total nonfarm employment.
The three Super Sectors with the least employment for the El Paso MSA in November 2015 were (1) Financial Activities; (2) Other Services and (3) Information.
The unemployment numbers for the region are as follows:
Texas State 4.5%
El Paso MSA 5.2%
El Paso City 4.7%
Socorro City 5.2%
El Paso County 5.2%
Brewster County 4.0%
Culberson County 4.5%
Hudspeth County 5.8%
Jeff Davis County 3.5%
Presidio County 10.9%
The El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties – El Paso and (since 2013) Hudspeth County.
Workforce Solutions Borderplex is hosting a free entrepreneurship workshop for teens this Saturday, from 9 to 11 a.m., at the Downtown Employment Workforce Center located at 300 East Main in Downtown El Paso.
The workshop will feature Eli Velasquez, Director of Venture Development with Texas Tech University, who will teach teens how to start up their own businesses, including steps for concepts and an introduction to the key principles from the revolutionary lean startup model.
“The Lean Startup concept takes everything we know about how to start a business, and flips it on its head. It’s a model that is being used by leading universities like Stanford, and implemented in startups all across the globe,” said Eli Velasquez, Director of Venture Development for Texas Tech.
The free workshop is targeted for high school students who want to compete in the upcoming state recognized, 7th Annual STEM Challenge Business Competition sponsored by the Hospitals of Providence.
“The STEM Challenge is the perfect program to reinforce this workshop, as high school students can be taught early on how to avoid the pitfalls of starting a new business using the Lean Startup principles,” added Velasquez.
To RSVP for the free workshop please contact Joseph Sapien, STEM Lead for Workforce Solutions Borderplex at