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Caterpillar, Workforce Solutions honored at state conference

Dec. 9, 2012 at 6:09 a.m.

Pictured, front row from left, are Henry Guajardo, executive director of Workforce  Solutions; Chris Heitzmann,  Caterpillar human resources director; Carole Kolle, Workforce Solutions center director and Chester Sackett, Workforce Solutions board vice-chairman. Back row from left, are  Mike Milson, Workforce Solutions director of business services and Mike Wall, Workforce board co-chair.

Caterpillar Inc. received the Employer Award of Excellence for the Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent area at the Texas Workforce Commission's 16th Annual Texas Workforce Conference.

The conference took place Nov. 28-30 in Grapevine.

The award honors private sector employers that are actively involved with the local workforce board and have made a positive impact on employers, workers and the community.

Caterpillar used Workforce Solutions services to find skilled workers when it built its $200 million hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria. Workforce Solutions provided almost 60 informational, testing and hiring sessions, helping to recruit and assess future workers during the facility's construction.

Once fully operational, the Caterpillar plan will employ about 800 people, tripling the company's current capacity of hydraulic excavators produced in the United States and doubling the number of Caterpillar employees nationwide who make excavators.

Caterpillar worked with Workforce Solutions, Victoria College and the Texas Workforce Commission to craft an $800,000 Skills Development Fund grant to train more than 380 new employees.

Workforce Solutions received recognition for outstanding board performance, including incentive awards for the Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker Training-Related Employment and Unemployment Insurance Claimant Reemployment programs. These awards recognize boards that display increased accountability and improved efficiencies.

Monetary awards for achievement in these categories will be used to enhance workforce service programs during the next year.

"The Texas workforce system demonstrates that successful partnerships and innovative solutions help put Texans back to work and improve business opportunities for employers," said Andres Alcantar, Texas workforce commission chairman. "I congratulate Caterpillar Inc. and Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent for making positive contributions to their communities, employers, and the state of Texas."



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