On Thursday, March 4, the San Antonio City Council approved the appointment of the SA Ready to Work Advisory Board by a 10-1 vote, and stakeholder briefings for the workforce development program have begun.
The members of the Advisory Board are:
- Sonia Garza, Vice President of Operations for WellMed Medical Management
- Peter J. Holt, CEO of HOLT CAT and Chairman of Spurs Sports and Entertainment
- Ben Peavy, Local Managing Director of Accenture Federal Services,
- Rosa Santana, CEO of the Santana Group, Integrated Human Capital, and Forma Automotive
- Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President of Texas A&M University-San Antonio
- Daphene Carson, Risk Manager at Edgewood Independent School District
- Doug McMurry, Executive Vice President of the San Antonio Chapter of Associated General Contractors
- Emily Spurlock, Registered Nurse
- Jerry Graeber, Senior Project Manager with Leonard Contracting Inc.
The composition of the board includes four local employers with in-demand occupations (Garza, Holt, Peavy, and Santana), two current or previous participants of City of San Antonio workforce programs (Spurlock and Graeber), one trade or labor organizations (McMurry), one community organization (Carson), and one training provider or higher education institution (Teniente-Matson). The mayor has chosen Councilwomen Rebecca Viagran (D3) and Adriana Rocha Garcia (D4) to serve as the board’s City Council liaisons.
The ordinance did include an expansion of the board from 9 to 11 members to add one more trade representative (Bobby Olveda, Field Representative and President of union group Laborers’ Local 1095) and one more small business representative (Juan Solis, Vice President at TRUIST and former District 5 councilman). But in a split 6-5 vote, Council members sent the measure to the Governance Committee for further discussion.
The advisory board will meet once a quarter and provide feedback on the voter-approved SA Ready to Work program, including on in-demand occupations eligible for tuition assistance and outside support for program participants, such as childcare and transportation support. Board members will also be promoters of the program to both community and employer participants.
City staff has begun making presentations to stakeholders where they lay out the goals and phases of the program and explain areas in which they hope for feedback from employers and educators/trainers. The Chamber encourages its members and partners to complete the survey and influence the direction of the SA Ready to Work program. The stakeholder sessions are being recorded and will be posted on their site, along with the survey at https://www.sanantonio.gov/EDD/Business-Climate/SA-Ready-to-Work.