Connecting businesses with trained workers in McLennan County

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) -As inflation rises and the cost of just about everything is going up, one program is hoping to offer a helping hand by connecting you with jobs that pay livable wages.

The initiative is called UpSkill.

“Working with local businesses as partners, we are able to see what jobs are always open and figure out what should these people know and the skills and knowledge they need to enter the workforce,” Heaven Lee, Workforce Initiatives Coordinated of UpSkill, said.

Once they find out what skills are needed to be a qualified candidate, UpSkill offers training and certifications in a variety of careers like construction, healthcare, hospitality, or mechatronics for people living in McLennan County.

“It’s just a start for people,” Lee said. “They are able to earn those certifications, be prepared to enter the workforce, and also a very important part of my job is Esther’s Closet so being able to provide professional clothing to the women of the courses.”

It’s designed to be a helping hand from start to finish, made possible by partnering with area colleges and businesses.

Edward Lowe completed two courses with UpSkill and said he really found an interest in mechatronics.

“Everything is going technical with machines and everything being automated,” Lowe said. “Why not get into the industry? It’s high in demand and unfortunately, there’s not enough qualified workers to fill those positions so I was like hey I could do that.”

Working with TSTC professors and industry professionals, he was able to achieve his goals.

“Since then it gave me the knowledge that I needed,” Lowe said. “Certain jobs have qualifications. Now I can actually put some on my resume so it applies to that job. It feels pretty good to be able to do that.”

To sign up, you have to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and must live in McLennan County.

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