State of Workforce in the Rio Grande Valley

The Rio Grande Valley leads the State of Texas in the rate of people out of a job.

Yvonne "Bonnie" Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Workforce Solutions said it TMs not necessarily due to a lack of jobs.

"We believe there are many jobs, Gonzalez said. There are actually, right now, 2,700 jobs that are available" said CEO Bonnie Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said one of the reasons why some people can't find a job, is because there is there is a skills gap in the workforce pool and the jobs available.

"The jobs of today are very different than the jobs of 10 or 20 years ago Gonzalez said.

Customer service, critical thinking, technology, computer (skills), problem solving - those are just basic skills sets that are critical for any and all jobs.

In addition to education, leaders at the conference also examined two other key points they said will help create jobs in the Valley.

"Entrepreneurship. What do we, as communities, need to do to encourage and continue to develop entrepreneurship activities and spirit in this area? Gonzalez said.

(Also), economic development. What do we as communities|need to do to continue to support the development of a competitive advantage?"

Adam Hutchison, Vice President of Student Learning at Texas State Technical College said employers are now demanding higher skills sets, and that although there are challenges in the Valley, it's an exciting time for higher education.

College is more attainable than ever before, Hutchison said. The federal government and state government acknowledge that education is the way out of a recession and the key to economic development."

Unemployment Rates

United States 8.8

Texas 8.4

Hidalgo County 12.3

Cameron County 12.4

Willacy County 15.1

Starr County 15.5

Brooks County 9.9

As published by Texas Workforce Commission

Career Fair

Action 4 News is teaming up with Workforce Solutions Cameron, Workforce Solutions, Univision Radio, State Farm Arena, IBC Bank and Congressman Ruben Hinjosa to host a career fair November 8th.

A ribbon cutting will be held right before the doors open at 9:30am at the State Farm Arena.

As of Friday, more than 100 employers had pre-registered from Willacy, Hidalgo, Cameron and Starr counties to take part creating more than 2,700 job openings.

There will be readiness workshops for career building, interview tips and much, much more.

The career fair is FREE to employers and to the community.

For more information, can you email the Action 4 Listens line and pre-register at a Workforce Solutions location near you.