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The State of the City event will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Murphey Performance Hall. FMI: http://bit.ly/2NKHlq2

City hires Economic Development director

Guy D. Andrews, executive director of the Brownwood Municipal Development District, has been hired to lead the City of San Angelo’s job-creation efforts as its economic development director.

Andrews was selected from among 51 applicants. He assumes his new duties June 4.

The City’s Economic Development Department serves as the staff of the City of San Angelo Development Corp. The COSADC board administers the half-cent sales tax for economic development. That involves using funds generated by the tax in incentive packages to diversify the economy, expand the property tax base, foster business growth and increase job opportunities.

The Economic Development Department does so in coordination with partners such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center, Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley, Downtown San Angelo, Inc., Angelo State University, Howard College and the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. The Economic Development Department’s efforts include the Business Retention & Expansion Program and development of the Industrial Park.

“San Angelo is brimming with exciting economic development possibilities,” Andrews said. “From that aspect alone, it’s a dream job. It’s also a place where I can make the greatest use of my skills and experience, and my love and understanding of West Texas. I’m looking forward to contributing to San Angelo’s growth.”

He has led Brownwood’s economic development efforts since 2015. During that span, he improved marketing for Brownwood’s sports complex, recruited an Abilene-based hospital to open a surgical center and medical plaza, created a building improvement incentive program, facilitated a $7 million expansion of an asphalt plant, and recruited an oilfield manufacturer to replace a failing agriculture products manufacturer.

Andrews has served as the economic development director for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce from 2011-14. In that job, he partnered with the Odessa Development Corp. and the Odessa Industrial Development Corp. to provide incentives and to make land available to prospective employers.

After a 25-year career with AT&T, including as the area manager for external affairs for Midland and Odessa, Andrews began his municipal career with the City of Conroe in 2005. He served five years as the community development director, overseeing Conroe’s planning, engineering, building permits and inspections, traffic control and GIS functions, along with its public works capital projects.

“Guy offers us an impressive blend of private-sector experience and public-sector acumen,” Assistant City Manager Michael Dane said. “Businesses and developers can appreciate that he has been in their shoes and faced their challenges, and as a public servant he has worked to streamline many of the development processes they navigate. Plus, he has a proven track record of being a team player.”

Prior to joining the City of Brownwood, Andrews was the executive director of communications and organizational development with Saulsbury Industries in Odessa.Saulsbury is a provider of engineering, construction, fabrication and other services to heavy industrial businesses such as oil and gas, and manufacturing.

Andrews earned a business degree from Texas A&M University, graduating magna cum laude, and served three years in the U.S. Army. His community involvement includes volunteer service with the Odessa and Midland chambers of commerce, foundations for the Ector County ISD and Odessa College, Main Street Odessa, and Rotary clubs in three communities.

Economic Development Department

The Economic Development Department serves as the economic development arm of the City of San Angelo Development Corporation (COSADC). The vision/mission statement of the Economic Development Department is to serve the community as an organization comprised of highly trained professionals leveraging resources to diversify the economy, expand the tax base, foster business growth and increase job opportunities.

Working with economic development partners, COSADC will retain, strengthen and diversify the job base of the community to ensure a vibrant business climate for San Angelo and the region. To learn more about the plans for 2017, click here.

Since its inception in 1999, the COSADC has been diligent in its allocation of half-cent sales tax funds to promote economic growth and sustainability for San Angelo and the region. Through job creation and retention, recruitment and expansion, special project funding and various other activities, the development corporation has concentrated its efforts toward improving opportunities and enhancing the lives of the citizens to grow a better San Angelo.

To learn more about San Angelo please check out our 2017 Community Profile.

Local company wins competition's $50K top prize

Rock Your World Decorative Concrete has won the San Angelo Business Plan Competition and its top prize of $50,000 in cash. biz plan winners

Co-owned by Carl and Amy Perez, Rock Your World Decorative Concrete is a startup manufacturer and distributor of decorative concrete panels made to look like stone, brick, barn wood and wood bark. The panels sport stylish and textured patterns that simulate the appearance of real stone, rock, brick or wood. The company also plans to produce interior backsplash panels.

Rock Your World was judged to have crafted the best business plan from among the 15 entrepreneurs who entered this year’s contest, which was open to local start-ups and existing businesses wishing to expand. A business plan is a comprehensive document that offers an organized view of a specific business idea. Plans should reflect the vision of a market opportunity and serve as a blueprint for developing the proposed business.

Six semi-finalists were chosen to advance in the competition. Four finalists presented their plans to the judging panel Saturday. After serious deliberations, the judges chose to award one prize.

The City of San Angelo Development Corp., which administers the half-cent sales tax for economic development, funded the $50,000 cash prize. Rock Your World will also receive in-kind rewards and may be eligible to apply for The Business Factory incubator program.

Advisers from the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center and students from the ASU College of Business aided entrants in drafting plans. The competition was coordinated by ASU’s SBDC and business college, and The City of San Angelo Development Corp.

Federal grant to aid job creation at industrial park 

The City of San Angelo Business and Industrial Park has received a $1.2 million federal grant to extend water lines and roads, doubling the amount of land that can be developed commercially.

The project is initially expected to create 30 jobs and spur $19 million in private investment, primarily in manufacturing. It will further provide the potential for substantially more jobs and capital investment.

The grant was awarded to the City of San Angelo Development Corp., which administers the half-cent sales tax for economic development, by the Economic Development Administration. An arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the EDA invests in economically distressed communities to create jobs, promote innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

The project stemmed from regional planning efforts led by the Concho Valley Economic Development District. EDA funds that organization, which unites the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

“As the president has often remarked, American communities urgently need to upgrade their local infrastructure,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. “This crucial infrastructure project will allow existing manufacturing and other businesses the opportunity to expand while helping attract new businesses to San Angelo.”

Mayor named Small Business Champion

Mayor Brenda Gunter has been chosen the winner of the 2018 Small Business Champion of the Year Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration for its San Antonio District.

The Small Business Development Center at Angelo State University nominated Gunter for the award. The San Antonio district encompasses 55 counties, including the cities of Austin and Laredo.

“This is a great honor and a wonderful surprise,” Gunter said. “But the far more gratifying reward is seeing how San Angelo’s economic development partners work together to support local entrepreneurs as they launch and grow new employers in our community.”

Each year to help celebrate National Small Business Week (April 29-May 5), the SBA accepts nominations in various categories and recognizes entrepreneurs for their achievements. Included are those who champion small business. The Small Business Champion Award recognizes someone who assists small business through advocacy efforts and has fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of small business opportunities.

In addition to serving as mayor, Gunter owns and operates a small business downtown, Miss Hattie’s Restaurant and Cathouse Lounge.

“Mayor Gunter is very deserving of the SBA Small Business Champion award because she is a great individual who always works toward improving the environment for small businesses,” said Dave Erickson, director of the ASU Small Business Development Center.

Gunter will be presented the award at a ceremony May 4 in New Braunfels.

To view a PDF of this job posting, click here.

ACT Work Ready Community 

The Work Ready Community certification is a nationally recognized program that pairs employers’ support with assessments of employees and job seekers. Tom Green County is only the second nationally recognized Work Ready Community in Texas. This will help attract new business to the area. Local businesses can also use the program’s tools to hire and promote employees into optimal positions. That leads to reduced training costs, lower turnover, improved operations and customer service, and higher profits. Visit 
tomgreencountyworks.com for more information.

County earns Work Ready status

TGC Certified Badge

Tom Green County has earned a nationally recognized certification as a ACT Work Ready Community. 

The Work Ready Communities program will help Tom Green County develop a pipeline between skilled workers and employers. Work Ready communities improve and measure the skill level of their workforces through a recognized standard – the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™.  This credential is issued at the bronze, silver, gold or platinum levels to indicate career readiness. 

To earn the community certification, local leaders attended the ACT Work Ready Communities Academy, an executive leadership program designed by ACT. They then worked toward certification goals by building awareness among, cooperation with and a commitment by local employers, policymakers, educators and economic developers. 

“The progressive thinking of our community leaders and their positive action demonstrate an enduring commitment to growing the economic success of the San Angelo area,” County Judge Steve Floyd said.   

San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter added that “local residents will begin seeing the important link between education and workforce development, and the value of matching people to jobs.”   

Building blocks of the Work Ready program include:

  • ACT WorkKeys® assessments. These standardized tests measure a person’s essential work readiness skills in applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. Such skills are critical for most jobs.
  • ACT KeyTrain,® which helps workers improve their skill levels.
  • ACT Career Ready 101,™ which helps teachers bring work readiness into the classroom.
  • A job analysis system that helps employers understand ACT WorkKeys scores needed for entry into and effective performance in a given job.

For more information, visit tomgreencountyworks.com.

In October 2016, San Angelo launched the WRC Initiative within Tom Green County. (Learn more here.) Since the launch, several local businesses have committed their support to the NCRC.

For employers

When you register your business as part of the WRC initiative, you are committing to finding top-notch candidates whose skills are certified. The first step: recommending that your applicants earn the National Career Readiness Certificate.

When you make that recommendation, not only are you able to instantly widen your talent pool, you gain the opportunity to quickly pinpoint exactly the type of candidate your business needs to efficiently and successfully fill that open position. As a result, your hiring decisions lead to increased workplace productivity, higher return on investment and cost savings.

To complete your employer registration form, click here. For more information, call Erin Medley with Workforce Solutions at 325-653-2321.   

Employer testimonials

“There was a time back in 2007-08 when we were seeing 100 percent turnover in our workforce," said Valerie Aymond of Gilchrist Construction Co. in Alexandria, Louisiana. "Some of that is because the work is seasonal. Some was because we tap into the same labor pool as other manufacturing and production employers. Our goal is to attract the best and brightest, and we want to retain them at Gilchrist Construction Co. and help them develop their skills. We now use these tools across the board for all external hires, as well as for internal promotions. That means every location, every position, without exception. The system is in place and working for us.”

“In Ohio, we have a manufacturing workforce that is bright and experienced, but not necessarily well-educated," said Sherry Kelley Marshall, president and CEO of Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board. "The NCRC offers those individuals who didn’t finish high school or pursue higher education a new credential to help document knowledge and skills. The NCRC allows them to demonstrate their intelligence and competency. When you see workers without a high school diploma or GED scoring 6s on their ACT WorkKeys tests, you see a visible boost in self-confidence.”

“We believe the testing complements our selection process by validating that internal and external candidates have the necessary foundational skills to do the job. It is one more data point to help us select the best candidate.” – NW Natural, Portland, Oregon.

For job seekers

Want to gain a competitive edge on your job application and stand out as a candidate? Register to earn the NCRC today!

The NCRC is a nationally recognized credential that certifies all of the skillsets you have accumulated during your professional experience. When you apply for a job, the NCRC compliments your resume and helps you market yourself as a qualified jobseeker. The WorkKeys Assessment includes three core sections: applied mathematics, locating information, and reading for information. Research has shown that individuals who excel in these three assessments demonstrate the foundational skills that help them excel in the workplace as well.   

To earn the NCRC, sign-up to take the WorkKeys Assessment at your local designated testing facility: Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley. For more information, contact Erin Medley with Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley at 325-653-2321 or Sara Lamog at The Work Ready Community Project Vista at 325-657-9214. 

Job seeker testimonials

“I learned that I’m smarter than I gave myself credit for," said Tina Smith, ACT NCRC recipient, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters employee. "And there are things I know from way back but I didn’t realize it until I took this course. It made me a better person and gave me confidence. The instructors were awesome; they made it fun.”

“At first I thought, ‘Oh great – another test to make me look stupid’" student Shaylunn Lee said. "But once I started it, it felt like the test was made for me. It told me my ups and how to improve my downs. By far, this is one of the best tests I have ever taken.”

“It felt good to earn my Gold ACT NCRC," said one recipient in Oregon. "I have a lot of confidence in myself, but it’s nice to have confirmation of what I can do. My certificate is something solid I can bring to an interview, and if an employer is using the ACT NCRC to help select applicants, then it gives me a leg up.”