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Real Collaboration to Boost Workforce Readiness

San Antonio industry and education leaders are working together better than ever to ensure San Antonio’s workforce pipeline can meet needs today and in the future. SA Works, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation’s workforce development department, serves to bridge the gap between industry and education in order to provide cohesive strategic direction for San Antonio’s workforce development efforts.

Programs like Summer Internships, Teacher Externships, and Job Shadow Days are allowing students and educators to connect directly with industry to build a better understanding of available careers in San Antonio and how to prepare to enter those fields, particularly in the target industries of IT, cybersecurity, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2018, SA Works supported over 5,000 of these experiential learning opportunities for San Antonio students, teachers and employers.

In addition to programmatic support, SA Works continues to drive meaningful conversation and strategic direction to grow the right skills in San Antonio to support a sustainable workforce pipeline for the community. SA Works’ upcoming Jobs Report, developed in partnership with Accenture Federal Services, provides an analysis of the market demand by job posting and respective education levels and skills required (and hired) in each of San Antonio’s three key industries.

Organizations like USAA are supporting additional analysis of San Antonio’s current workforce, the potential skills gaps that may emerge in key sectors like IT if San Antonio continues supplying skilled workers at the current rate. SA Works is publishing an IT Skills Gap Analysis to highlight the top in demand occupations where the skills gap is projected to continue to grow, the skills needed to enter those fields and which local training providers are available in those fields. This tool will not only help educators focus on the skills employers need, but also provide students entering the workforce and workers looking to change careers a roadmap to enter these high-demand occupations.

What’s more, San Antonio boasts the top community college district in the nation, as Alamo Colleges was recently awarded the prestigious 2018 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award from the Department of Commerce. The Digital Creative Institute recently launched the first Department of Labor approved apprenticeship in digital marketing and ISHPI Information Technologies, with support from Project Quest, developed the San Antonio Center of Excellence for Secure Software cybersecurity apprenticeship program.

It’s innovation and collaboration among San Antonio’s local education and industry leaders that will continue to drive progress towards a sustainable workforce pipeline.