Commissioner Julian Alvarez did an outstanding job as the Commissioner Representing Labor at the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). 

I had the honor of voting for his nomination and did so without hesitation because I knew he had the experience, leadership, and knowledge needed to find solutions and serve the workforce development needs of Texans. 

As a native of South Texas, I knew that he understood the needs of our communities and would work tirelessly to advocate for funding and policies to increase workforce training and education for our workers.

One of the first meetings I had with Commissioner Alvarez was to discuss with him SB 1351 which I authored and passed during the 2015 session that transferred the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program from the Comptroller to the TWC. This program provides grants to eligible entities to teach and prepare our students with the work skills they need to succeed. These grants help our students get the essential technical skills and helps put Texans back in the workforce in today’s job market. Commissioner Alvarez was a leader in promoting the grant program and in ensuring our school districts in South Texas, along with our community colleges — Del Mar College and South Texas College, received funding.

Commissioner Alvarez regularly travelled all across our state and had an open door for everyone. He was innovative and had many excellent recommendations and implemented policies that will benefit our workers and employers for many years. He was instrumental in the expansion of apprenticeship programs by hosting conferences and meeting with industry and business leaders to educate and highlight the importance of apprenticeships to build up our workforce. These efforts led to his appointment by the U.S. Department of Labor as the Apprenticeship Ambassador.

I appreciate Commissioner Alvarez’s service to the State of Texas. His passion for workforce training, education, apprenticeships, and building partnerships will be missed at the Texas Workforce Commission but his accomplishments and successes will have a lasting impact in the lives of many Texans. I wish Commissioner Julian Alvarez much success in his future endeavors.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by state Sen. Juan Hinojosa of McAllen. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Hinojosa can be reached by email via: [email protected]

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows state Sen. Juan Hinojosa and Texas Workforce Commissioner Julian Alvarez.

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