MCALLEN, RGV – A Conversation on Education and Workforce Development will take place at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton in McAllen next Wednesday.

The breakfast event will be hosted by Teach For America Rio Grande Valley.

Jonathan Stevens

Jonathan Stevens, managing director of Teach for America RGV, said the event will feature Texas Workforce Commissioner, Julian Alvarez III, and Texas Education Agency Deputy Commissioner, Martin Winchester.

After their remarks, a video will be shown highlighting the impact Texas For America has had.

Stevens said the two guest speakers will share their thoughts on the future of workforce and education in the RGV. 

“A thriving Rio Grande Valley requires a 21st century workforce. As our economy changes, new and different skills and educational experiences are needed for students,” Stevens said, “This breakfast conversation will focus on challenges and opportunities for our region to improve educational outcomes and influence our economic development.”

Stevens told the Rio Grande Guardian students who are in K through 12 will go into a very different future in terms of economy because the economy is constantly changing. It is a part of Teach for America’s objective to ensure those students are prepared for the realities of the future.

“By bringing in business and industry leaders for educators to hear from, we think we can spark a dialogue between those two,” Stevens said. “[This] will help us have some of the shifts that we need so that more children in this region are prepared for the future. And ultimately, at Teach for America, we believe that all children deserve the very best in education.”

Stevens said one of the special guests, Winchester, moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1995 through the Teach for America program. He’s served in education for more than 18 years across multiple school districts in the RGV, most recently the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District (ISD). Winchester was later selected to serve as Deputy Commissioner of Educator Support for the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

“[Winchester’s] job is to help support educators throughout the entire state, “Stevens said. “By coming back here and sharing with the community his thoughts on the future of education, we know that he has our community and our region’s best interest in mind.”

Alvarez also has strong links to the Valley, having served previously as president of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership and district director for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The Teach for America RGV Partnership was established in 1991. According to their website, Teach for America RGV contributed to the improvement of student outcomes such as the high school graduation rate rising from 78 to 87 percent since 2001.

The Future of Our Education and Workforce breakfast will be held Feb. 7 at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton in McAllen with the breakfast beginning at 7:45 a.m. and the program beginning at 8:15 a.m. Click here for more information.