The Culture of Business
Mayor Announces Update to SA Works Program
San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to house SA Works,
a private-sector led workforce development initiative
SAN ANTONIO (March 22, 2016) – During Mayor Ivy Taylor’s “United State of the City” address co-hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce,the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and others, she announced that the city’s workforce development efforts will be led by “SA Works,” an industry-led collective impact model developed from national best practices. SA Works has combined efforts with the “San Antonio – Talent for Economic Competitiveness” (SA-TEC) initiative launched in 2015 by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County.
This newly integrated effort will be housed at the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation’s (SAEDF) new charitable arm to further align the City of San Antonio and Bexar County’s economic and workforce development programs.
The success of SA Works to date speaks volumes to the foundation built by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Alamo Colleges made possible by a record setting grant of $1.4 million from Charles Butt and H-E-B. SA Works has propelled our community to push the boundaries of collaboration and begins to successfully transform our workforce development strategy into a model for all of the United States.
“SA Works is designed to be one of the most robust and effective workforce development systems in the nation, powered by great leaders and building on the collaboration of dozens of supporting agencies,” said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. “As a City, it is our responsibility to ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to secure education that will allow them to prosper. Economic development is, at its core, workforce development because economic development is about people. When the citizens of San Antonio prosper, that leads to greater economic growth and prosperity for our city.”
“Taking on workforce development is a step forward for SAEDF,” said County Judge Nelson Wolff. “Creating an educated workforce is vital to our economy.”
Over the last year, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Alamo Colleges have worked to develop the SA-TEC initiative, which led to a natural integration with SA Works. To date, SA Works has successfully engaged a number of key partners such as industry leaders, independent school districts, institutions of higher education and community based organizations that have each assisted SA Works in providing internships, job shadowing opportunities and other work-based learning opportunities for high school and college students and educators. As SA Works transitions to SAEDF, their mission and activities will expand.
“Over the Chamber’s 122-year history, we have developed many programs and supported their evolution into entities outside of the Chamber,” said Richard Perez, President & CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. “Because of the inherent connection between economic and workforce development, it is only natural to transition the city’s leading workforce development program to the SAEDF.”
The new relationship with SA Works will enhance SAEDF’s mission to ensure the City of San Antonio and Bexar County reach their full potential for economic prosperity through business growth and expansion. This will continue to fulfill the goals of Forefront SA, the community’s five-year strategic plan for economic development.
“For many years, our community has enjoyed excellent transactional cooperation on a project-by-project basis,” said Wayne Peacock, SAEDF Chairman. “The integration of SA Works into our overall strategic and operational economic development practice represents an important alignment. It demonstrates that we are a city that has prioritized workforce development for investment as a core competitive advantage.”
As an industry-led program, the SA Works board is composed of several prominent corporate leaders including Peter John Holt, Executive Vice President and General Manager for HOLT CAT. Holt will continue to serve as Chair of the board that will try and increase the program’s employer engagement.
“It is a privilege to continue to serve as chair of the SA Works board,” said Peter J. Holt. “I’m humbled by the opportunity to encourage industry leaders to engage in collaboration towards a more prosperous and economically competitive San Antonio.”
Other SA Works board members include: Kate Rogers, H-E-B; Bryan Scott, The Boeing Company; David Crouch, Toyota; Eddie Aldrete, IBC Bank; Gary Joeris, Joeris Construction; Alvin Lowenberg, Morningside Ministries; John Dewey; A.J. Rodriguez, Zachry Group; Tom Cuthbert, Vistage; Mark Reid, USAA; Suzanne Peterson, Frost Bank; Marc Raney, Methodist Health Care Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
SA Works will be hiring an Executive Director and expects full integration into SAEDF by October 1, 2016.
One San Antonio
Diverse, internationally connected and globally competitive, San Antonio has a vibrant culture and economy and is consistently ranked among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. America’s seventh-largest city offers opportunities in industries ranging from bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy and transportation manufacturing to healthcare. We are “Military City USA,” home to crucial military commands supported by a patriotic citizenry. We welcome 31 million visitors annually who inject $13.4 billion annually into our economy, and UNESCO recently designated the city’s Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site. Celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2018, San Antonio is a city with a storied past and an even brighter future. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov