Workforce Development in Giddings, Texas, is Well-Funded, Adaptive, and Proactive

Workforce Development in Giddings, Texas, is Well-Funded, Adaptive, and Proactive Main Photo

8 Mar 2023


A crowd of over 130 gathered in Lee County at the Giddings Workforce and Education Summit to hear firsthand about exciting workforce development prospects supported by federal, state, and local efforts and resources. The Giddings Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) and the Giddings Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Summit.

Blinn College District



Mary Hensley, ED.D, Chancellor of the Blinn College District, spoke at the Summit. “Everyone is moving to Texas. People are moving here for many good reasons, but certainly, workforce opportunities and training, economic development, and the chance for a wonderful life are really good reasons why.”

Blinn College, with our five campuses and 18,000 students, stands ready to assist you,” continued Dr. Hensley. “Blinn brings an innovative spirit to all of our instructional programs. We have substantial experience developing training programs specifically for your needs here in Lee County. And with the support of the Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area (WSRCA), the City of Giddings, the Giddings Economic Development Corporation, and the Giddings Chamber of Commerce, we stand ready to provide targeted, high-priority skills and training in fields that make a difference in this community. We are currently and specifically looking at HVAC and pharmacy technology.”

Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area (WSRCA)

David Stedman, President/CEO of the Giddings Economic Development Corporation, is a member of the Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area all-volunteer Board of Directors. "Working with WSRCA has shown me the power of regional cooperation in forging workforce initiatives that are moving Rural Capital Area to the forefront of economic development.”  

“I'm honored and grateful to serve on the Board of Directors,” continued Mr. Stedman. “I look forward to working with WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher and the Board. Together we will help Texas extend its leadership in recruiting and business expansion."

Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area identifies the industries and occupations most in demand in a nine-county area that includes Austin and Lee County. They provide an upskilling toolkit to assist a company’s Human Resource Development to support the continual growth of its employees. They also help with apprenticeship solutions and provide virtual classes and workshops.

WSRCA was awarded a more than $12 million Good Jobs Challenge Grant for its Rural Employers Infuse Vital Economic Success in Texas (REINVEST) Initiative that bolsters construction, healthcare, and technology workforce in the rural communities it serves. WSRCA is one of only 32 industry-led workforce training partnerships selected from a competitive national fgpool of 509 applicants to be awarded the prestigious grant as part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge funded by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

REINVEST will enable six rural Texas counties, including Lee, to generate high-quality jobs for 777 workers across three sector partnerships: Healthcare, Skilled Trades, and Finance and Information Technology, in collaboration with over 46 employers and employer associations.

Texas Workforce Commission



Aaron Demerson, the Texas Workforce Commissioner who is the representative and liaison for employers, also spoke at the Giddings Summit. “Texas is where we are because of the relationships between our experienced leadership. In Texas, we are number one in a lot of ways. We’re number one in job creation; we’re always at the top there.”

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state agency charged with overseeing and providing workforce development services to employers and job seekers. Texas boasts an incredibly skilled workforce ready to attract enterprise to the Lone Star State. By focusing on the needs of employers, TWC gives Texas the competitive edge necessary to attract business relocation and expansion.

“When we bring together the worlds of workforce, economic development, and education, and couple that with elected leadership who gets it, then we are well on our way to success,” said Hon. Demerson. “And that’s what’s happening here in Giddings. We have workforce; we have economic development; we have education. You’ve heard from the elected leadership and seen the passion that is there. That’s our secret sauce in Texas. It’s why we’re so successful.”

Hon. Demerson said he wants to provide employers with the best opportunity for success. “I have four employment law attorneys onboard who can answer any question regarding the law. If you are an employer in Texas, they are there to help each and every one of you.”

Smithville Workforce Training Center

Smithville Workforce Training Center (SWTC) was also involved with the Giddings Summit. SWTC is an exceptional resource for career development, providing high-quality certification programs that build the community by linking training to jobs that pay a solid living wage. Coordinators seek input from local businesses to find out what skills and training they require of new hires and speak with students and prospective adult trainees to find out what they want to learn to meet their life goals. Programs developed from these collaborations create solutions that meet the needs of residents and the businesses that will employ them.

During the Giddings Workforce and Education Summit panel, “Implementing Workforce Solutions,” Ms. April Daniels, Executive Director of Smithville Workforce Training Center, announced SWTC had recently received a $4.8 million grant. The grant, administered by Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, will bolster critical job training and facilities that will benefit Lee and two other counties. She said that SWTC is committed to building long-lasting infrastructure in the region that will encourage citizens to stay in the area for training while also attracting employers searching for a trained workforce.

As part of the grant, Lee and Fayette counties are partnering with Blinn College, which will supply the educational instructors for training programs that target various workforce needs like CDL drivers, HVAC, IT, welders, plumbers, and electricians. 

GEDC President/CEO Mr. Stedman said the city has united with Dr. Hensley and Blinn’s leadership, with help from the Texas Workforce Commission and State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, to “forge a new multi-million dollar initiative.”  He said, "I am thrilled to form an exciting new working relationship with our business community.”

Workforce Development is Collaborative in Giddings

There’s a bevy of workforce development help for employers in Giddings — located just an hour east of Austin but with much more affordability. Giddings Economic Development Corporation can help guide you through all that is offered. Consider their expert staff your one-stop-shop for direction toward the resources that are right for you. Contact us today at (979) 542-2067,, or! Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and check out our video library!