Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services Celebrates Five Years of Project HIRE

Date: April 13, 2017

Media Contact: Lisa Givens
Phone: 512-463-8556

MCALLEN  ⎯ Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS) hosted a Project HIRE celebration event on April 7 to celebrate the program’s recent graduates and accomplishments of assisting youth with disabilities, ages 18-25.

Project HIRE stands for “Helping Individuals Reach Employment” and has helped 52 customers in Hidalgo County receive post-secondary education and employment services. A five-year grant funded by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities helped establish Project HIRE in 2012.

The celebration recognized Project HIRE partners: South Texas College; University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Communication Axess Ability Group of South Texas; Easter Seals Rio Grande Valley; a 12-member project advisory committee from the local disability, business and education communities; TWS-VRS; and Workforce Solutions Lower Rio Grande Valley.

“Today was a bitter sweet moment because it is the end of the Project HIRE grant,” Frank Almaraz, Chief Executive Officer, Workforce Solutions Lower Rio Grande Valley. “But we left a footprint. A model has been created for the replication of future potential programs like Project HIRE.”

During the celebration, Project HIRE presented the International Museum of Arts and Sciences in McAllen with a Project HIRE Employer of the Year award. Museum staff were recognized for their continued support of providing business mentoring opportunities to Project HIRE participants.

Project HIRE participants have earned certificates such as welding, office management, construction supervision, business, marketing, computer maintenance, childcare development, mechanics and drafting. More than 80 local employers have participated in the program and provided mentoring since the program’s inception. In addition, 23 Project HIRE participants have graduated from South Texas College.

“Project HIRE has forever changed how South Texas College and partnering institutions work together to serve our students with special needs,” said Dr. Shirley A. Reed, President, South Texas College. “It has been an honor to witness the courage, dedication, hard work, and success of these proud students and graduates.”

TWS-VRS is a program operated by the Texas Workforce Commission in coordination with 28 local workforce development board partners – also known as Workforce Solutions Offices. TWS-VRS helps eligible Texans with disabilities prepare for, obtain, retain or advance in employment through education, training and support services, and other vocational rehabilitation assistance.

For additional information, please contact:

Mike Gonzalez, Communications Specialist
Workforce Solutions Lower Rio Grande Valley
(956) 212-8297

Lisa Givens, Director of Communications
Texas Workforce Commission
(512) 463-8556


The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

Texas Workforce Commission — 512-463-8942 — www.texasworkforce.org — Equal Opportunity Employer/Program

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Relay Texas: 800-735-2988 (TDD) or 711 (Voice)

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