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2023 Workforce Conference Recognizes Exemplary Texas Employers

News Category Press Releases
December 1, 2023

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 held Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2023, in Houston. 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 strong 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 economic success that can be achieved through private-sector collaboration with the public sector. Through a highly competitive scoring system, a panel of TWC judges select 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

Baylor Scott & White was chosen as Texas’ Large Employer of the Year among three outstanding private-sector employer finalists. Baylor Scott & White, nominated by Workforce Solutions Capital Area, partnered with Austin Community College to develop an online training apprenticeship program in 2022, and Baylor Scott & White hired 66 apprentices 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, nominated 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, and serves as an employer panelist for Future Forward, which connects 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 gives students the opportunity to meet with plant managers and supervisors for a more personal understanding about manufacturing. The initiative has provided tours for more than 15,000 youth 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 included Hartmann’s Inc, nominated by Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, and S & D Plumbing, nominated by Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area. Hartmann’s Inc. has been 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 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 Veteran-Friendly Employer of the Year for their efforts to recruit and hire veterans. Akima Support Operations, in partnership with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, 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.

TWC also recognized local Boards with awards for outstanding services to Texas employers, job seekers, and local communities. Workforce Solutions Offices offer one-on-one assistance to help workers find and keep good jobs and help employers hire skilled workers to grow their businesses. Find a local office on our website.

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Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers, and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and its services in coordination with its local workforce development boards network, call 800-628-5115 or visit https://twc.texas.gov/. Subscribe to email updates to receive notifications about TWC programs and services.