Ready to Work sees surging interest in health care fields as jobs training program attracts thousands of applicants

John Christian Harvey is one of more than 60 individuals who has completed training. So far, 10 of the graduates have secured employment in their designated fields.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio’s Ready to Work program has attracted nearly 8,000 applicants and 62 graduates since launching in May. The city is working on implementing accountability measures alongside partner agencies to ensure there’s a steady pipeline of talent coming out of the program. 

The $200 million initiative is being funded through a 2020 voter-approved 1/8 cent sales tax.

Dozens of local employers from multiple industries have pledged support for the program, which aims to provide education and training for those looking for in-demand, higher paying occupations.

“We’re seeing very huge surge into health care and the health care sector with certified medical assistants, registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses,” said the Mike Ramsey, director of the City of San Antonio’s Workforce Development Department. 

More than 500 people have enrolled in Ready to Work, according to an online city dashboard. Of the 62 people who’ve completed training, 10 have secured employment as CDL truck drivers, which pay a median hourly wage of $20. 

John Christian Harvey wrapped up a 10-week course in October, gaining skills in the wood working trade and business marketing.

Harvey and his brother run a business constructing items out of wood.

“We’ve done things from bed frames, we’ve done things from cabinetry. We’ve done it all pretty much,” Harvey said. “Just trying to better promote the business as a whole. Simple things as far as using a tape measurer or as just applying a certain or sanding to a different degree.” 

He’s also been able to take advantage of mental health counseling and college opportunities through Ready to Work. 

“Just trying to better promote the business as a whole. Simple things as far as using a tape measurer or as just applying a certain or sanding to a different degree,” Harvey said. “Personally it’s been vital. It’s definitely played an important role as far as keeping things in check.”

Manufacturing, information technology, health care, and transportation are some of the in-demand fields where qualified candidates are needed. 

One of the city’s missions is to create accountability measures while agencies such as Alamo Colleges District and Restore Education attempt to ramp up program capacity over the next six few years. 

Enrolled applicants can continue training and receive a variety of support services through May 2028. 

 “We’re utilizing public dollars. We want to make sure that we keep the public abreast on how those public dollars are being expensed. We want to show you the areas that we’re doing very well in and the areas that we need to get better in,” Ramsey said. 

Ready to Work eligibility requirements include being at least 18 years old when applying, being a resident of San Antonio and earning an income less than 250% of federal poverty guidelines ($33,975 for an individual or $69,375 for a household of four). 

To learn more, go here.

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