Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public Andres Alcantar today announced his retirement from state service effective July 31.
“The last ten years of service to the people of Texas through the Workforce Commission has been the highest honor and privilege of my professional life,” Alcantar said. He added, “I am sincerely grateful to my fellow Commissioners and thank the Governor for the opportunity to serve our great state in this capacity. We have accomplished a great deal and I am proud of the positive difference we have made for Texas employers and our world-class Texas workforce.”
Alcantar was appointed Commissioner by former Governor Rick Perry effective August 4, 2008. From the start, he strengthened relationships with local workforce board leaders and key stakeholders to honor local flexibility and advance innovation in service delivery. He focused on local control as a key facet in delivering industry-aligned solutions to advance local economic priorities and to strengthen our state’s critical industries. Chairman Alcantar worked to implement customized services and promoted industry-based partnerships to meet the needs of Texas’ vast array of industries and advance the development of a strong competitive workforce.
Chairman Alcantar also passionately advanced a diverse range of strategies designed to inspire and prepare students for postsecondary success at work or in the classroom, focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives as a key component of future workforce competitiveness. Recognizing the importance of high quality early learning, Chairman Alcantar worked to improve the subsidized childcare program in Texas for all children by focusing on enhancing the Texas Rising Star program, building public-private pre-k partnerships, and supporting local strategies to improve student’s school readiness.
The agency strengthened under Alcantar’s leadership, becoming one of the most comprehensive and integrated workforce development systems in the country. TWC served many different populations creating efficiencies and leveraging state and federal dollars to serve even more Texans. Together with 28 Local Workforce Development Boards, Alcantar guided TWC successfully to create partnerships that aligned education and training opportunities with the needs of employers in urban and rural areas of our state.
Under Chairman Alcantar’s guidance, the Texas Legislature increasingly entrusted TWC with programs and responsibilities that expanded the agency’s reach. TWC successfully transitioned the Adult Education and Literacy program in 2013, and the Vocational Rehabilitation programs serving individuals with disabilities in 2015 almost doubling the agency’s size.
Additionally, Alcantar’s efforts involved outreach and support for some of Texas’ most deserving populations. Alcantar worked tirelessly to help identify gaps in services to Texas veterans, advancing strategies to enhance their education and employment opportunities, and develop solutions to ensure a seamless and accelerated transition for veterans back into the Texas workforce. Chairman Alcantar also supported programs and initiatives that improved opportunities for former Foster Youth.
Alcantar worked to make college more accessible for Texas families, strongly supporting innovative industry-aligned early college models, and his efforts and leadership helped students enter the workforce more quickly with marketable skills. He was instrumental in his recommendation through the Tri-Agency partnership with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to enhance the skills of the Texas workforce, advance regional economic expansion, and job creation, and further the goals of education and skills attainment under the 60x30TX plan. He helped create better career awareness systems to link students, parents, and educators to the broad array of high-demand jobs in this state.
“It has been an honor to have worked with so many wonderful and dedicated people across this state who volunteer their time and bring their passion in support of their fellow Texans,” Alcantar said. “I am particularly proud of the unbelievable team at the agency, and our 28 Local Board leaders across this state, who are deeply committed to improving outcomes for Texas employers, students, and workers. I also want to thank the volunteer members of the 28 boards who generously donate their time, talent and creativity to Texas Workforce Solutions. Together we have delivered comprehensive, innovative and impactful solutions so that Texas remains the premier place to do business and ensures that it continues leading the nation in job creation. I am excited about the next professional chapter in my life and look forward to building new partnerships that advance the interests of our fellow Texans.”
Throughout his term at TWC, Chairman Alcantar has further supported the workforce and education goals of the state by volunteering on multiple advisory panels and boards, including the Texas Student Success Council, the Texas Success Center Advisory Board, the Texas OnCourse Executive Advisory Committee, the Texas Engineering Experiment Station Advisory Board, the WGU Texas Advisory Board, and the Dual Credit Task Force.
Chairman Alcantar previously served as deputy director to former Governor Perry’s Budget, Planning, and Policy Division, advising the Governor on federal, state, and local issues and providing executive oversight to state boards and commissions. His focus included workforce, economic development, and competitiveness issues. He also served as an adviser to former Governor George W. Bush in the Office of Budget and Planning and was a director for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Alcantar is a proud graduate of Texas Tech University. He holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in public administration.