Alpine agency boosts jobs

Virginia Sandoval

Having a reliable and committed workforce is crucial to successful businesses and to fueling economic growth, and the Texas Workforce Solutions-Borderplex office in Alpine helps achieve that goal.

The Texas Workforce Commission, a state agency that oversees and provides workforce development services for employers and job seekers, is also a part of Texas Workforce Solutions, which has an office in Alpine. The Alpine office consists of Virtual Employment Specialist Virginia Sandoval, customer service representative/trainer Daniel Peña, Vocational Rehabilitation Services Counselor Mary Schwartze Grisham, and Intake Coordinator Susie Gonzales.

The Alpine office is currently open by appointment only.

Workforce Solutions maintains a strong, dedicated partnership with local public and private agencies and employers, such as the City of Alpine, Sul Ross State University and their Small Business Development Center, Brewster County, and others. Sandoval said the Alpine office is unique in that it enables clients to get more personalized attention.

“Being such a small office, we are able to provide more one-on-one attention than bigger offices,” she said. “Since COVID-19, most of the push was assistance for unemployment, since a lot of employees were laid off. Now the push has been people looking for work.”

According to Sandoval, the most significant change she has noticed is job seekers looking to change careers.

“What they were doing before is not working, so they are looking into maybe one of the hot jobs in the medical field, IT, or construction. They want to expand any possibilities that they have.” There are also services unique to veterans, including veteran specialists out of the El Paso office; and the Alpine office partners with Brewster County Veterans Services Officer Dennis Yancey. Communications Director Bianca Cervantes in El Paso announced there would be a phase out plan to start reopening the offices gradually, and that includes the Alpine facility.

In the meantime, virtual job fairs are available, including many that offer work from home job opportunities.

“We do encourage rural residents to register for these job fairs, and look at what opportunities are available,” said Cervantes.

Sandoval noted many local job seekers were starting to get creative.

“They have been looking for different possibilities, and how they can use their talents,” she explained. “I know a lot of people are trying to work from home, offering catering and specialty cakes, that kind of thing. It’s something they have a talent with, and now they want to make it a business.”

Sandoval, in her 19th year in the Alpine office, enjoys the friendly, personal interaction with clients.

“Being in such a small community, you get to know people and get that connection, so you build a rapport,” she said. “I had a wonderful client just a while ago tell me that I gave her hope today. That’s the best compliment I could ever receive. It is the connection that I make with people. That’s what I love the most.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 432-837-9800.

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