Workforce Conference 2023 Recognizes Exemplary Texas Employers
Annual awards honor employers for excellence
AUSTIN – Each year, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and local Workforce Solutions partners recognize employers across Texas for excellence and innovation. The 26th Annual Texas Workforce Conference was in Houston on Wednesday, November 29 through December 1, 023. This year’s theme was “Many Paths, One Mission.”
The Texas economy is moving forward, driven toward tomorrow by almost 650,000 employers. Each year, TWC honors employers whose innovation, hard work, and investment in the Texas workforce system contribute to the state’s thriving economy and its more than 15 million civilian labor force.
These outstanding employers hold a firm conviction and commitment to engage with the community, job seekers, and workforce partners to yield achievements through a shared vision of workforce and economic development. Local Workforce Development Boards nominate employers whose partnership exemplifies the financial success they achieved through private-sector collaboration with the public sector. Through a highly competitive scoring system, a panel of TWC judges selects Employers of the Year who embody TWC’s mission to promote and support a workforce system that creates value and offers employers, individuals, and communities the opportunity to achieve and sustain economic prosperity.
Large Employer of the Year Awards
Workforce chose Baylor Scott & White as Texas’ Large Employer of the Year among three outstanding private-sector employer finalists. Workforce Solutions Capital Area nominated Baylor Scott & White, who is partnered with Austin Community College to develop an online training apprenticeship program in 2022. Baylor Scott & White hired 66 apprentices in the first year. This earn-and-learn model has been highly successful and allowed Baylor Scott & White to fill much-needed certified medical assistant positions in numerous clinics in Central Texas.
The Large Employer of the Year runner-up finalists were Christus St. Michael Health System, nominated by Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas, and Emerson Process Management Fisher Controls, selected by Workforce Solutions Texoma. Christus St. Michael Health System participates in Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas career exploration events, including the LEAP Expo for 8th-grade students. It is an employer panelist for Future Forward, connecting high school seniors with career pathway resources. Emerson Process Management Fisher Controls chaired the Texoma Workforce Initiative, which provides youth and parent industry tours and allows students to meet with plant managers and supervisors for a more personal understanding of manufacturing. The initiative has provided more than 15,000 youth terms and resulted in five local schools offering a manufacturing career pathway through the Advanced Manufacturing Program.
“Texas employers play a critical role in the state’s workforce,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “TWC recognizes these Employers of the Year to highlight their contributions to the opportunities our 15 million strong labor force enjoy.”
Small Employer of the Year Awards
G & H Towing Company, nominated by Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend, won Texas’ Small Employer of the Year Award. G & H Towing Company has contributed training models for five local independent school districts and actively participates in their career days. The company is the top sponsor of an inaugural Maritime Career Expo and Job Fair, which attracted 12 independent school districts, 280 youth, and 70 job seekers.
The finalists, Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, nominate Hartmann’s Inc., a contributor to the engineering program at Abilene Independent School District’s Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math, and Science (ATEMS). Additionally, Hartmann’s is developing a machining course, scheduled to begin in 2024, with Texas State Technical College in West Texas. S & D Plumbing collaborates with local schools and trade organizations to promote plumbing as a viable and lucrative career choice. In collaboration with its sister company, Coppera Plumbing, S & D Plumbing/ They recently launched a signing day for plumbing pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship Programs.
“We recognize these employers for their contributions and positive impact in their communities through their partnerships with community colleges and trade organizations to provide strong training and apprenticeship programs,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Alberto Treviño III. “Creating career pathways through these partnerships will continue to attract job seekers and build a stronger workforce in Texas.”
Veteran-Friendly Employer of the Year
TWC recognized Akima Support Operations as a Veteran-Friendly Employer of the Year for recruiting and hiring veterans. In partnership with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, Akima Support Operations hired 106 veterans in 2022 and has a 70 percent veteran employee population. Additionally, Akima Support Operations works to translate military occupations to civilian descriptions and offers a $245 referral bonus.
HireAbility Employer of the Year
H-E-B was honored as the HireAbility Employer of the Year, nominated by Workforce Solutions of Central Texas. H-E-B Gatesville partnered with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas and TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Services to collaborate with Gatesville Independent School District to provide work experience for special education students by participating in and sponsoring community events, serving as a worksite for students with disabilities, and providing mentors and coaches for individuals with disabilities.
“I congratulate these Texas employers for their incredible contributions to the state’s economic prosperity,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Joe Esparza. “Through partnerships with Workforce Solutions and their communities, Texas employers ensure that every Texan who wants a job has one, and every employer has the tools they need to train and maintain their talent.”
You can watch videos featuring the winners and finalists for the Large, Small, and Veteran-Friendly Employer Awards on the TWC YouTube channel.
The 28 Local Workforce Development Boards each recognized a Local Employer of Excellence at the conference. The award honors employers actively involved with Texas Workforce Solutions that have positively impacted employers, workers, and the community.