LAREDO, Texas – In a partnership agreement with Laredo College, the City of Laredo launches a new workforce development and certification program for individuals who experienced lay-off, furlough, or under-employment due to COVID-19. The City and Laredo College have committed a combined $2 million dollars to support this initiative.
Similar to the program the City and Laredo College rolled out in 2020, the “Laredo CARES 2.0” program will provide workforce skills training, development training, and redevelopment training to approximately 1,200 participants as part of the City’s commitment to providing ongoing economic support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs help grant some relief for displaced Laredoans and present them with significant opportunities to get them back into the local workforce.
“Developing and enhancing Laredo’s workforce is paramount to the City’s economic and community development. Education and skills training are the key tools to raising incomes and filling well-paying positions throughout,” said Laredo City Manager Robert A. Eads. ”This innovative agreement approved by City Council and the Laredo College board leverages funds from both entities and will provide hundreds of local residents the free opportunity to earn job certifications and college hours.”
“This partnership between the City of Laredo and Laredo College will be instrumental in the ongoing recovery of our local economy, providing workforce and skills training for over a thousand Laredoans,” Laredo College Board President Lupita Zepeda said. “Laredo College is eager to be part of this collaboration to expand this already successful initiative and help people in our community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Laredo CARES 2.0 program will offer 27 courses and certification programs that include truck driving (CDL), dental and medical assistant, pharmacy technician, paralegal, forklift operator, and more.
In addition to the technical skills and training, the program will also focus on employability skills such as writing and speaking effectively, working in teams, customer service etiquette, and other critical skills across all industries. Economic developers recognize these skills across Texas as the second-largest problem in today’s Texas workforce, behind only worker supply.
These high-demand certification courses and skills training will be offered through the Laredo College Continuing Education Department and the Laredo College Economic Development Center. The programs are slated to start next year.
“This project demonstrates the power of partnership and innovation in economic development and workforce training,” LC Senior Director of External Affairs Michael Gonzalez said. “Laredo CARES 2.0 is a testament to the immense positive impact that can be made when economic development is coupled with colleges and municipalities with a common goal of improving the lives of citizens.”
“Laredo College once again has the privilege to serve the Laredo community by offering workforce skills training to those affected by the pandemic,” LC Dean of Community Education Sandra Cortez added. “The City of Laredo and Laredo College encourage the citizens to take advantage of the opportunity to improve or develop their skills to become employed in high demand occupations.”
For additional information regarding this initiative or to apply for one of these programs, the public can visitwww.laredo.edu/LaredoCARES.