The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) honors the men and women who comprise Texas’ world class workforce of more than 13 million workers this Labor Day weekend.

A workforce that is highly skilled, strong in work ethic, and as large and diverse as the state itself. Our workforce encompasses people from different cultures and backgrounds, with unique talents, educational and training experiences, skills and abilities, and is a workforce that has helped build a great state.

Our more than 500,000 employers, who have added nearly 173,000 jobs in the past year, have a broad talent pool to choose from when hiring workers in Texas, including veterans and individuals with disabilities who bring unique talents and a strong work ethic to the job with them each day. We encourage employers to let us connect them with workers from these and other talented populations who are eager to put their skills to work. We can help employers learn the benefits of hiring veterans and assist with recruiting, hiring, retaining and accommodating employees with disabilities.

TWC and the state’s 28 local workforce development boards, which together with our adult education and literacy partners comprise Texas Workforce Solutions, work closely with the state’s economic development entities to create innovative workforce programs that help connect qualified job seekers with employers seeking skilled workers.

TWC has programs to assist employers in training their workforce and to help individuals prepare for career opportunities. Skills Development Fund job training grants help businesses and employers create new jobs or upgrade the skills of their current workforce. The High Demand Job Training and Texas Industry Partnership programs allow local economic development entities to collaborate with workforce boards to provide training to meet regional skills needs. Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grants and dual credit programs supported by TWC help support Career and Technical Education programs and prepare students for in-demand careers. Apprenticeship training programs also help prepare hard working individuals for good-paying careers.

Additionally, TWC is addressing the growing population of veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce through a variety of veterans programs such as College Credit for Heroes, which allows Texas’ veterans to translate military experience into college credit to help them more quickly transition to civilian careers. The Texas Veterans Leadership Program connects returning veterans with the resources needed to enjoy the full benefits of the society they have willingly served. On November 10, TWC and Workforce Solutions board partners will host the fifth annual Hiring Red, White and You! statewide hiring fair for veterans and their spouses to help connect those exiting military service with civilian job opportunities.

Texas Workforce Commission and our partners continue to seek additional innovative ways to serve hardworking Texans. We understand that our success throughout our communities rests in large part with the workers who have helped create so much economic prosperity. To the workers of Texas, as you enjoy this holiday weekend with family or friends, we extend to you a thank you for helping to make Texas great.

Editor’s Note: The three Texas Workforce Commissioners, Andres Alcantar, Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public, Ruth R. Hughs, Commissioner Representing Employers, and Julian Alvarez, Commissioner Representing Labor, are pictured in the main image accompanying this guest column. The picture was taken by reporter Steve Taylor at a forum held at South Texas College’s technology campus in McAllen in May, 2016.