Collaborative Effort Ensures Job Placement for Veterans

The training will help place more people into skilled occupations in demand by San Antonio-area businesses.

Mon July 13, 2015 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Veterans and residents from the East Side Promise Zone, will be participating in heavy equipment operator training aimed at putting to work approximately 150 people in the San Antonio community. This workforce development initiative is a partnership between HOLT CAT, Alamo Colleges. Texas Workforce Commission and Workforce Solutions Alamo (WSA). The training will help place more people into skilled occupations in demand by San Antonio-area businesses.

The program is conducted at the HOLT Caterpillar Technical Training Center by HOLT instructor John Hoffman, and provides veterans and the East Side students with an OSHA 10-hour certification and training on five different pieces of heavy machinery, delivering real work-life settings and key skills applicable in the construction, transportation and excavation industries. Upon completion, WSA has also worked to secure local job placements for these veterans and East Side Promise Zone residents.

“Thanks to HOLT CAT and other key state and local organizations, we are providing in-demand skills training to East Side Promise Zone residents and veterans with guaranteed job placement upon course completion,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor. “HOLT CAT is leading the way for other corporate citizens to partner with public sector entities like the City of San Antonio, the Alamo Colleges, Texas Workforce Commission and Workforce Solutions Alamo to ensure that workforce training efforts are responsive to local industry needs — matched to available jobs — and serving populations like veterans and Promise Zone residents.”

Veterans are funded by the Texas Workforce Commission’s Veteran and Industry Partnership program, which helps veterans acquire operator skills that can be used to find employment in a variety of industry-based professions. East Side Promise Zone participants that are not veterans are funded under the Workforce Investment Act, which provides tuition support for individuals meeting eligibility.

“This collaboration recognizes the exceptional skills that veterans bring to the workforce,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “We are proud to partner with Alamo Colleges and HOLT CAT to train and place our heroes in high-demand occupations.”

Participants are vetted prior to the training, perform a career assessment as a benchmark for their skill sets and are actively placed into a new job that requires this new skill set. Some of the veterans who have completed the course in the spring now work for places like Prime Time Plumbing and Construction.

“Veterans make up more than 15 percent of our HOLT workforce, and we support them wholly. With this collaboration, our goal is to train veterans and local San Antonio residents with the skills to effectively operate and maintain heavy equipment,” said Peter John Holt, senior vice president of diversified businesses, HOLT CAT. “This valuable skill will give participants a great job opportunity, gaining experience in various industries.”

As part of the training, HOLT CAT provides the classroom and construction site, instructors, curriculum, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heavy equipment to create a real work-like environment for students to receive safe instruction. The collaborators are all major proponents of workforce development, and together, HOLT CAT, TWC and Alamo Colleges are pledging to train approximately 150 new heavy equipment operators, with secured job placements, over the next five years.

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