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Voter-approved program aims to provide training, education and support to San Antonio residents who are 'ready to work'

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After completing training in 2013, Claire Kerstetter now works as a fluid technician on fracking jobs.
Jeff Brady
After completing training in 2013, Claire Kerstetter now works as a fluid technician on fracking jobs.

The City of San Antonio officially unveiled its new $200 million education and job placement program on Monday and leaders outlined plans to get the business community involved.

SA: Ready to Work, which aims to match the city’s talent pipeline to the needs of local businesses, is funded through a 1/8-cent sales tax approved by 77% of San Antonio voters in November 2020.

According to the city, the program “offers unemployed, underemployed, and under-represented residents” tuition for the necessary training and education to land high-demand, well-paid jobs, and support services to ensure completion.

The goal of SA: Ready to Work is to train and secure job placements for up to 40,000 individuals as the sales tax accumulates over the next 4.5 years.

It differs from another municipal pandemic-prompted program, Train for Jobs, in that it does not offer weekly stipends for participants and caps their income eligibility at no more than $32,000 a year.

How will local businesses work with the city and job-seeking participants to ensure the program is a success? Which businesses are already involved?

What industries have the most demand for skilled workers and what training or education is required? What are the biggest challenges?

What kind of community outreach will be done to meet people where they are?

What lessons did the city learn from missteps with Train for Jobs? How will the city measure the success of SA: Ready to Work over the coming years?

Guest: Mike Ramsey, executive director of the City of San Antonio's Workforce Development Office

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, February 8.

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