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2017-07-13

Off-the-beaten path service gets new sign

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

A long-awaited new sign for Alamo Workforce Solutions was installed Friday, making the valuable and useful resource more visible to residents. Pictured from left to right are George Hempe, CEO of Workforce Solutions, County Judge Richard Evans, of the Bandera County Commissioners Court, and Gaylyn Dieringer, managing director of the Workforce Solutions office in Bandera.





County Judge Richard Evans of Bandera County Commissioners Court met with a team of executives from Alamo Workforce Solutions last Friday morning to unveil a new sign for the easily and often overlooked Bandera County location. The service shares a building with Health and Human Services and the Department of State Health Services at 702 Buck Creek Road.
“The new sign is something we felt was important in terms of creating greater outreach for community and county,” said George Hempe, CEO of Workforce Solutions. “People are traveling to San Antonio or Boerne for assistance when a satellite office is right here in Bandera.”
On hand also was Gaylyn Dieringer, the managing director for Workforce Solutions for 13 Texas counties, including Bandera.
“If you’re looking for a job, Workforce Solutions is a very good place to start,” Dieringer said. “We provide a number of different services we feel Bandera County residents will find useful.”
One of the resources made available is a workroom located in a common area of the building that includes a computer, copy machine, telephone, scanner — the modern equipment and tools that an unemployed person needs to prepare, search for and secure employment. This workspace is open five days a week during business hours (from 8 am to 5 pm).
Supportive Services available
Monday through Wednesday
But there are other supportive services that Alamo Workforce Solutions provides, including writing a resume or help with preparing a CV. (Curriculum vitae loosely translates as the course of my life.)
For some people, childcare may be the most essential and necessary supportive service needed in order to look for and then keep a job. Other people may need to acquire single specific skill sets, while still others may choose to continue their education more broadly.
“Whether you have lost your job, or you’re a dislocated worker, or are at an economic disadvantage — we’re here to help,” Hempe said.
Judge Evans agreed. “If somebody needs help, we need to help them,” he said.
“If you don’t know where to start, start here,” Hempe said. “Come in and talk with us. If you know you need childcare, come in and ask how to qualify for some of the services, such as childcare.”
“We also have a youth program,” Dieringer said. “We have so much useful information for young people about the labor market. Anyone can come in.”
“Bandera is unique compared to most counties,” Judge Evans said. “We don’t have manufacturing. It’s mostly hospitality. ... They (customers and visitors) have to have a good feeling when they leave, otherwise one bad experience will nullify $100,000 in advertising.”
Hempe described several successful Workforce Solutions enterprises, including hospitality-training programs developed for other cities known for their hospitality, such as Hershey, Pennsylvania.
“We’re going to have a forum here (in Bandera) in August, which will last about an hour-and-a-half or two hours and it will be open to the public, businesses, schools — everybody,” said Hempe. “We intend to extend our outreach into the Bandera community. We want to know what you would like to see.”
As for the local employment rate, officially Bandera County is at 3.6 percent, although numbers don’t tell the whole picture.
“Whenever the river is full, that helps,” said Judge Evans. “