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Round Rock Chamber Produces Workforce Development Strategy


WROC strategy designed to increase community’s talent pool

ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Round Rock Chamber today announced that it has produced the Workforce Realization Occurring Cooperatively (WROC) strategy, a multi-year plan for addressing Round Rock’s current and future workforce situation. An extremely low unemployment rate and concern about the impact of retiring Baby Boomers led the chamber to make the creation of the strategy one of its top 2015 priorities. WROC, which was developed in conjunction with a working group of workforce and education practitioners, will drive the organization’s talent development efforts for the foreseeable future. The white paper can be found here.

“The chamber is dedicated to keeping workforce development a top priority within our economic generation efforts,” said Kris Whitfield, the WROC working group chair, chamber board member, and Round Rock City Councilmember. “The WROC strategy provides us with a clear roadmap for addressing the subject in the years to come so that we can ensure that Round Rock companies always have access to the region’s top talent.”

WROC is focused on four main areas – replenishing the skilled trades; implementing accelerated learning opportunities; increasing direct-to-college participation; and supporting ancillary service capabilities. Within each area are recommendations that will bring the stated goal to fruition. The eleven recommendations are to:

  • Initiate an image campaign that promotes the viability of skilled trades
  • Enlarge the number and variety of internship opportunities
  • Expand and promote accelerated learning and certification opportunities
  • Expand the Veteran and Industry Partnership in the Round Rock area
  • Expand the Round Rock Chamber/Round Rock Independent School District job-training beta project
  • Create an early college high schoolCreate an early college high school
  • Develop an employer-subsidized transportation system
  • Expand the Ethics in Youth Education program
  • Increase exposure and usage of personal finance education opportunities
  • Develop an integrated workforce-provider matrix

The chamber has committed to lead the execution of each recommendation.

“The evolving employment landscape, especially the imminent effect of Baby Boomer retirements, compelled us to develop WROC,” said Mike Odom, the chamber’s president and CEO. “We will now transition from the research and planning stage to the implementation stage and focus on generating meaningful and measurable workforce-related results.”

The WROC Working Group consisted of:

Chair: Kris Whitfield – Councilmember; City of Round Rock
Hector Aguilar – Executive Dean, Continuing Education; Austin Community College
Jenna Akridge – Director of Contracts and Programs; Workforce Solutions – Rural Capital Area
Sheri Bonds – Director, Career and Technical Education; Round Rock Independent School District
Joshua Book – Assistant Director of Distance and Extended Learning; Texas State University
David Cummings – Coordinator, Extended Learning Services; Texas State University
Mark Hiemstra – Chief Operating Officer; Goodwill Central Texas
Steven Jakobs – Executive Director; Capital IDEA
Al Lopez – Planner; Workforce Solutions – Rural Capital Area
Evan Morgan – Center Director; Texas State Technical College
Edgar Padilla – Department Chair, Career Services; Texas State Technical College
LeAnn Powers – Chief Professional Officer; United Way of Williamson County
Dr. Edna Rehbein – Assistance Vice President for Academic Affairs; Texas State University
Linda Sappenfield – Reference Librarian; Round Rock Public Library
DeWayne Street – Vice President of Workforce Advancement; Goodwill Central Texas
Michelle Swain – Director, Gifted and Advanced Academic Success; Round Rock Independent School District

About the Round Rock Chamber
The Round Rock Chamber is one of the largest and most active business organizations in Central Texas. Its approximately 1,000 investors collectively employ more than 25,000 people in the area. It is also the region’s only accredited chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.roundrockchamber.org.