Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas
2022 Impact Report
A highly valued workforce system that meets the economic demands of the Heart of Texas communities.
YES! High School Student Welding Internship students gaining hands-on work experience at Carry-On Trailer in Mexia.
To provide a well-trained workforce for employers in order to ensure the economic growth of the region.
Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas has had an impactful year in our commitment to our region. Throughout the year, we have diligently served our Veterans, built our talent pipeline, empowered and invested in our workforce, and exceeded in helping employers hire qualified candidates. We are pleased to share that work and the impact it has had in our 2022 Impact Report.
Some of our proudest highlights include:
★ Supporting and hosting 150 hiring events and job fairs;
★ Assisted 31 new businesses with staffing for new operations;
★ Securing $425,429 in grant funding to expand our healthcare, early childhood educator, and trades apprenticeship programs;
★ Making the 2022 Hiring Red, White & You! Hiring Fair Waco's largest hiring event for Veterans;
★ Granting child care tuition scholarships to 2,267 families.
Our work would not be possible without the visionary leadership and guidance of our Chief Elected Officials and Board of Directors. Our regional chambers of commerce, economic development corporations, post-secondary institutions, independent school districts, and other agency partners have been invaluable to achieving our mission. As always, thank you for your continued confidence in Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas.
Heart of Texas Workforce Development Board, Inc.
Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas
Throughout the year, we have diligently served our Veterans, built our talent pipeline, empowered and invested in our workforce, and exceeded in helping employers hire qualified candidates.
Judge Justin Lewis, Lead Chief Elected Official, Hill County
Judge Cindy Vanlandingham, Bosque County
Judge Jay Elliott, Falls County
Judge Linda Grant, Freestone County
David Fowler, Board Chair, Freestone County
Russ Foster, Chair-Elect, Limestone County
Alvin Pollard, Sr., Secretary/Parliamentarian, McLennan County
Shirley Crockett, Treasurer, McLennan County
Paige Key, Past-Chair, Bosque County
Keith Stanford , At-Large Member, All Counties
Clyff Curry , Oversight Committee Chair, All Counties
Linda Calhoun, Bosque County,
Howard Childs, McLennan County
Diane Cowan, McLennan County
Warren Davis, Freestone County
Jessica Ford, Falls County
Chief Elected Officials
Board of Directors
Judge Richard Duncan, Limestone County
Judge Scott Felton, McLennan County
Mayor Dillon Meek, City of Waco
Stephanie Garza, Limestone County
Laura Harborth, Hill County
Bruce Hardt, McLennan County
Dr. Susan Kincannon, McLennan County
Roy Nash, McLennan County
Janise Ochoa, McLennan County
Valerie Parker, McLennan County
Andrew Pick, McLennan County
Celia Stem, Falls County
Maggie Stinnett, McLennan County
Ronda Swaim, All Counties
Mark Vera, McLennan County
Casey Wade, All Counties
Veteran meeting employer at the 2022 Hiring Red, White & You! Hiring Fair
Connected Veterans with
Employers at our
2022 Veteran Hiring Fairs.
Helped Veterans earn
Median wages per quarter.
Assisted disabled Veterans in earning
Median wages per quarter.
Meet Donald, a US Navy Veteran who attended the 2022 Hiring Red, White and You! Hiring Fair in hopes to secure a new job after three months of what seemed like an endless job search.
"The hiring fair was awesome. It was really easy. I received several job leads. Salvation Army gave me an application on the spot and asked me to fill it out, bring it in, and I’d have the job right then and there.
This new position is helping me finally move out of transitional housing and obtain permanent housing.
And for that I'm grateful."
Impact in Action
Partnerships with employers are crucial to the success of our local workforce. Just this year, Workforce Solutions assisted 31 new businesses by helping them quickly identify and hire staff for their new operations. We hosted 150 hiring events and job fairs—an average of 12 events per month—to help employers stay connected with our highly-qualified, local talent pool. Our staff works tirelessly to make employer relationships a priority, and our employer data reflects that effort.
Job seeker meeting employer at the 2022 Fall Hiring Fair
"Amazon is absolutely blown away by the results we have experienced by partnering with Workforce Solutions. The Business Solutions team was able to leverage the many tools available to the employers they serve and have consistently exceeded our expectations each time we have a hiring event. We are so thankful to have built a partnership with Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas and look forward to the future in Waco.”
-Adam Kern, WFS Engagement Specialist Amazon
Candidate meeting Amazon representative at the 2022 Amazon Hiring Event
Hiring events & job fairs hosted
New businesses were provided assistance in staffing for new operations
Employers participated in hiring events & job fairs
We continue to leverage our programs, funding and resources to ensure residents in our six-county region can find and keep employment, obtain in-demand skills, and maximize their earning potential. Our programs are more than filling vacant jobs—they allow us to empower individuals to get back on their feet, achieve and maintain a high quality of life, and find fulfilling careers.
Facilitator, Ron, providing hands-on assistance to a job seeker at the McLennan County Workforce Solutions Center
of job seekers remained employed one year after receiving services
Increase in monthly median wages of job seekers who completed career training
Job seekers attended hiring events & job fairs
Job Seekers Served
Continuing to grow a first-class, competitive workforce takes vision—a vision that provides opportunities for individuals to obtain the in-demand skills and experience necessary to succeed within our targeted industries. Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas is building that pipeline of workers by expanding its apprenticeship programs with the help of $425,429 in grant funding.
Part of the funds allowed us to plan and create two new apprenticeship offerings, the Early Childhood Educator Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) and the Patient Care Technician program. Both programs will provide apprentices with paid on-the-job learning, educational courses, and one-on-one coaching in the field, as well as national, industry-recognized credentials.
We were also able to extend our Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which prepares individuals for RAPs in high-demand, skilled trade occupations.
Our community partners including local unions, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and child care providers ensure we are able to offer quality training programs along with employment after training.
Watch video below to meet Bailey, a 2022 MC3 Graduate & First-Year Electrician Apprentice at Rosendin Electric.
We invest in the future by ensuring our youth have access to local career and educational opportunities through a variety of programs and events. This year, we reached over 3,000 students across 35 high schools.
Through our Summer Work Experience Programs, which assist at-risk youth and youth with disabilities, 58 youth gained real, hands-on work experience over the summer. Participating youth earned 4,381 paid summer work experience hours, totaling $43,810 in wages, at 20 different worksites throughout our six-county service area.
We also secured $55,908 in grant funding for continued support of the YES! High School Student Welding Internship initiative, a paid internship for Waco ISD's Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy (GWAMA) juniors and seniors.
Student holding VIP Pass at the 2022 YES! Expo
Students across 35 high schools received career & education outreach
Median earned by youth in Summer Work Experience Programs
Angelo is one of many youth who participated in our Paid Summer Work Experience Programs. He spent his summer gaining work experience and valuable, hands-on skills at Hilton Waco.
"It’s been really awesome working here at the Hilton. I’ve learned to check people in, scan their cards, and assist them with their flights. This job helps me do my best and is good experience if I were to ever work at another hotel."
Watch the video below to see the 2022 YES! Expo in action.
Hours of professional development provided to teachers & directors
Families received child care tuition scholarships so they could go to school or work
Children received access to high-quality early learning programs
Sustained success for our workforce begins with providing access to high-quality, early childhood programs for all families. Research shows that high-quality child care helps children be more successful in school, as well as provides improved health and increased learning outcomes over children's lifetimes.
Providers in our child care programs are encouraged to obtain a Texas Rising Star (TRS) certification, a quality rating and improvement system that ensures we continue to enhance the quality of our programs and better equip child care providers.
Workforce Solutions helped 65 child care providers obtain or maintain their TRS certification, as well as provided 156 hours of professional development to program teachers and directors. Our programs significantly impact our current workforce as well, as they provide lower income families with child care tuition scholarships (2,267) so parents can work or attend educational programs.
We also invested $378,572 to enhance classroom learning environments for children by extending the classroom outdoors. Playground equipment and materials were purchased to create outdoor classrooms to more deeply engage children in learning math, science, art and literacy.
Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas is proud to have nominated local employers for the 25th Annual Texas Workforce Conference. These employers were honored for the positive impact their efforts and initiatives have made on our workforce and community.
Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas administered $22,230,617 in program funds during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas is funded by federal and state funds and through private grants.
Quality Assurance Coordinator/
Equal Opportunity Officer/504 Coordinator
Project Support Specialist
Workforce Grants & Initiatives Manager
Digital Communications Specialist
Director of Strategic Planning
Project Support Specialist
Workforce Contract Manager
Manager of Business & Industry Initiatives
Child Care Manager
Budget & Contract Officer
Proudly serving the six-county region of Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan.