‘Ready to Work’ team seeks to implement two initiatives totaling $3.1 million

These programs could help employees move up the career ladder without remaining stagnant in the jobs they possess.

SAN ANTONIO — In 2020, the Ready To Work program commenced. After four years, there has been 11,315 applicants eager to participate in the program while 6,441 participants are enrolled in training, and another 569 have found what the ready to work team qualifies as a ‘quality job’. 

Executive director of workforce development for the city of San Antonio, Mike Ramsey, is hopeful the new pilot programs will give employees more stability.

“We have phenomenal partners that are working hard to help out the most needy community members to get the education and skills the traditional route and getting them placed in quality jobs here in the community, but it’s going to take some time,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey is hopeful that these initiatives could add stability to the jobs people already possess.

“This incumbent worker training program and on-the-job training program are taking people who are already in place, already working, who may not be able to stop working and go back to school to enhance their skills,” Ramsey said.

The ‘On-the-Job Training’ program seeks to help new employees who have worked less than six months on the job. The ‘Incumbent Worker Training’ program is for employees who have been with the company for more than six months, who would like to enhance their skillset.

For employers like Christian Guerra, who is the President of Avanzar Interior Technologies and GL Automotive, the plan seems genius.

“It puts us in the driver’s seat as the employers,” Guerra said.

Guerra says the company is in the process of a new product design which meant laying off some employees who they weren’t able to train. But he says this new program helps avoid that by enrolling employees in that much-needed training.

“We’re looking at using a program like this to upscale our workers, retrain them, and put them in a more highly technical area of our business,” Guerra said.

Guerra said that the on-the-job training, enhanced skillset, and employees not having to miss a paycheck makes all the difference.

“A lot of our team members are living week by week,” Guerra said. “And they’re worried about if they have enough money to feed their kids, if they can go to HEB, if they have to wait for their next paycheck. To be able to still make money as your upscaling and training and developing to go make even more money and stay in the same neighborhood, in the same company, that’s what makes all the difference. It’s a highly important concept,” said Guerra.

The next step for the ‘Ready To Work’ team will be asking for the council committee’s endorsement before implementing the pilot program initiatives.

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