Austin, TX (December 21, 2017)

From Mitch Holt, Board Chair, Skillpoint Alliance:

This year has been one of growth and transition for Skillpoint Alliance. Over the past eighteen months, we have looked internally, meticulously discerning who we are as an organization, and conducting data analysis and inventory of what we do best, what we are passionate about, and, most importantly, what the people of Central Texas need most. We have made difficult, yet sound decisions to make a transition from an “everything-to-everyone” organization to one that is laser-focused on Workforce Development and individual preparation for entrance into meaningful careers in skilled trades for Central Texans. This year, our certification courses in electrical, plumbing, Certified Nursing Assistant, and HVAC have graduated almost 200 students, at a near-90 percent rate of employment for those matriculating from our programs.

Perhaps the most humbling part of working with Skillpoint is witnessing the resilience of our students. Often, they will enter one of our programs while experiencing unspeakable difficulties in their lives—homelessness, poverty, dead-end jobs, chronic unemployment, or a number of other challenges. Over the course of one eight-week program, Skillpoint students work relentlessly to develop an employable trade knowledge through participation in a rigorous, simulated work environment. These experiences foster self-confidence and skills that translate to the workplace. With the support of proud family members and friends, graduates of the program gain a renewed sense of self, as they view themselves as contributing members of society who are capable of being successful. It is this reason that the Board of Directors, staff members, and course instructors wake up every day with a renewed passion for Skillpoint’s mission.

On behalf of the Skillpoint Board of Directors, I offer a resounding thank you for your continued support of our vision, which ensures that “every citizen will have access to a successful career pathway.”

With a little effort from a lot of people, we have the ability to continue to transform lives, to stimulate economies, and to help those who are willing to work but need a little help getting started. Our 2018 challenge to you is to get involved in any way you can—through a donation of time, talents, and/or treasures—with a Workforce Development organization in your city.

Thanks for a great 2017 and here’s to an even better 2018.