Chamber invites vets to work, live, play in Victoria

On Friday and Saturday, the Victoria Chamber of Commerce continues to respond to the area's business needs with its support of Warrior's Weekend by being a catalyst in helping host a mini job fair for those veterans coming to our coastal area, thanking them for their service to our country, helping those veterans who wish to call Victoria home and giving them a chance to meet companies that have job openings in the area.

Supporting this unprecedented endeavor, area companies and organizations, including Baker Hughes, Citizens Medical Center, the city of Victoria, Miken, Toyota of Victoria, Wells Fargo and Zachry, should be thanked for demonstrating their desire to help grow our community's workforce by sending representation to the weekend event. These organizations and residents are showing their support for Warrior's Weekend and the Victoria Chamber of Commerce by focusing their attention on our returning veterans by welcoming them home with potential jobs while visiting the Victoria area this weekend.

The chamber recognizes our marketplace is highly competitive in finding skilled and qualified workers to fill job openings, particularly given the boom in the Eagle Ford Shale. Taking the lead in helping to facilitate solutions, the chamber's Education and Human Resources Committee has been working hard with a number of local organizations on several initiatives to help membership and our area businesses with overall workforce development. The focus is on breaking the overall workforce development need into three separate subneeds: Current needs; short-term needs - those graduating from high school and college during the next 24 months; and long-term needs - those students in grades eighth through 10th. By partnering with the Warrior's Weekend, the chamber hopes to help assist with our area's current workforce needs.

Warrior's Weekend veterans have often commented on how great this community is and how wonderfully our community shows its appreciation. Many veterans would like to call this area home and come live and work here. So with 800-plus veterans coming to the Victoria area, there is no better time than now to share with them the opportunities for work here in this expanding economy, especially for those veterans who appreciate Victoria and the surrounding area.

We agree with the Victoria Advocate's May 7 editorial - this is a great "opportunity to show gratitude," and I am proud to share that your chamber is working hard to respond to the needs of our business community and our membership, and we are proud to do so in such an honorable manner.

Again, thanks to the businesses and organizations for participating and helping us team together with the Warrior's Weekend organization to bring opportunities beyond the weekend.

Want to get involved? Contact the Victoria Chamber of Commerce office at 361-573-5277 for more information on how you can be part of this great opportunity.

Randy Pollard is chairman of the board for the Victoria Chamber of Commerce chairman.