AUSTIN, Texas – Rio Grande Valley native Julian Alvarez, III, the labor representative on the Texas Workforce Commission, has announced he will depart the state agency, effective December 15.

Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement, otherwise known as VIDA, has told media outlets that Alvarez will make “a special announcement” at an event the group is hosting at the Radisson Hotel McAllen Airport on December 16.

Governor Greg Abbott appointed Alvarez a TWC commissioner in February 2016. He was reappointed in March 2017. His commission appointment expires February 1, 2023. 

“It has been a pleasure to serve as the Commissioner Representing Labor of the Texas Workforce Commission for two terms. I am truly humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to serve you and this great state of Texas,” Alvarez said, in a TWC news release.

“I truly have enjoyed the opportunity to develop impactful and innovative initiatives benefitting both our constituents and employers.”

Alvarez’s fellow commissioners thanked him for his service.

“I’d like to recognize Commissioner Julian Alvarez for his service to Texans,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “His efforts have demonstrated his commitment to the Texas workforce.”

“Commissioner Alvarez, the Texas tornado, continuously traveled the great state of Texas to champion the needs of the world-class Texas workforce,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. 

“His focus on developing our workforce helped create a robust pipeline of talent for our employers. Congratulations to Commissioner Alvarez on his next step and thank you for your service to our working Texans.”

As labor commissioner, Alvarez has represented the interests of more than 14 million Texas workers with respect to TWC services. He was tasked with ensuring their concerns are considered in all commission actions.

On June 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship officially designated Commissioner Julian Alvarez as an Apprenticeship Ambassador.

Alvarez said that in this role he is committed to serve as a champion for efforts to promote, expand and diversify the Registered Apprenticeship Program, and to support the strengthening of the nation’s workforce.

In September, Alvarez brought TWC to McAllen for an apprenticeship conference. It was the first time TWC had a conference in the Valley. Alvarez was also the keynote speaker at a recent South Texas College summit on apprenticeships. 

In the Valley, Alvarez has been praised for bringing tens of millions of dollars to the region for workforce training and education initiatives. Alvarez has said he did not play favorites and that the entities that received funding secured their monies based on merit. He has acknowledged that Valley-based TWC staff member Sonia Valdez has helped identify numerous grant opportunities for Valley organizations.

Prior to his appointment to the TWC, Alvarez served as president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. His task there was to foster relationships and coordinating programs to advance regional economic development and employment opportunities. 

He also served as the Texas Regional Director for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison advising on legislative and policy issues related to South Texas. Prior to that, Alvarez served on the South Texas Drug Task Force as a State Trooper for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). After his service with DPS, Alvarez inspired stewardship and leadership as the Director of College Information for Texas State Technical College in Harlingen.

Here are some of the awards and recognitions Alvarez has received:

  • March 16, 2022 – Commissioner Julian Alvarez Day proclamation by Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., in honor of exemplary Public Service to the people of Texas
  • 2022 Texas Early Childhood Champion Award from Together4Children, for outstanding support of early childhood leadership
  • 2021 Apprenticeship Award Recipient from Coastal Bend Plumbers Local Union 68
  • 2021 Good News Award Recipient from Camp Fire First Texas
  • 2021 Texas Public Policy Foundation Award “An Uncommon Way: Achieving Economic Independence in the Black Community”
  • 2021 Op-Ed article for Work Shift: To expand opportunity, rethink what counts as a “successful” career path.
  • 2021 SXSW EDU panel presenter: “Getting Back to Work: Upskilling and Retooling”
  • 2020: Fellow Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas School of Law
  • 2020 SXSW EDU panel presenter: “Workforce Counselors Guiding Pathways for Seniors”
  • 2019: received the CTE Champion Award from the Career & Technical Association of Texas for advancing CTE programs as a vital part of developing a prepared, adaptable, and competitive workforce
  • 2018: received the Appointed Official of the Year Award by the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children for his work on behalf of early childhood education
  • Appointed by the Texas Secretary of State to the Border Trade Advisory Committee, serving from 2018 to 2020
  • Retired Collegiate Football Referee, Southland Conference

Alvarez earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Texas A&I University in Kingsville.

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