Leading SA: Chief Workforce Officer with Greater: SATX discusses new business developments, plans for future

SAN ANTONIO – Greater: SATX is a public-private partnership working to bring in new businesses, prepare our community’s future workforce, and support the current local talent.

The organization has been hard at work setting the foundation for economic plans in our community. Chief Workforce Officer Romanita Matta-Barrera with Greater: SATX joined Leading SA to discuss plans for the future.

“Greater: SATX is a regional economic development partnership. We work very closely with our eight-county region to locate companies in the San Antonio region... We also work very closely with our local employers to ensure that they stay here in San Antonio and that we are able to support their growth, be it through an increase in their talent needs or any other issues that they may have, ensuring that they are staying in San Antonio and that we are able to meet their growth and expansion needs... And that is primarily our function, the relocation and the expansion of high-wage jobs and employers here in our region,” Matta-Barrera said.

Matta-Barrera went on to discuss how they maintain partnerships with more than 165 private companies while improving the local economic landscape.

There is a lot of discussions often when we’re talking about relocating a company to the San Antonio region, and there are talks about tax abatements or incentives that companies are given either by the local government or the state government. But the reality is most companies today, the number one thing that they’re looking for in any relocation prospect is a workforce. If I move my company to your city, to your region, do you have the workforce today that if I opened my doors, you’re ready to operate? And our you know, our answer to them is absolutely we do We have the skilled workforce,” Matta-Barrera said.

The Chief Workforce Officer shared how the organization not only highlights the diverse workforce in San Antonio but also adds to it with programs.

“Diversity is key to so many employers, and that is just who we are as our population. And so really honing in on educational attainment, ensuring that we have youth that are completing degrees and going into degrees that are critical to the employers we have is is one of the key things that we do. And so we work very closely with our school districts, but we also work very closely with our colleges and universities to ensure that they are preparing the future challenge for these companies that will ideally relocate and stay here for five, ten, 20, 50 years in our San Antonio community.”

This summer marks the 8th summer the organization is helping prepare the next generation for the future workforce.

This is the eighth annual summer of our high school paid internship program... A lot of these phenomenal employers are helping the youth at a very young age develop their business acumen, and it really helps them inform, ‘If I go to college? what is a career in accounting or tech really look like?’ And so that’s really critical... There’s nothing like actually working at the job to get that opportunity to really, really build your workforce readiness,” Romanita Matta-Barrera said.

Overall, Matta-Barrera says when pitching to companies the organization simply highlights all the Alamo City offers, “people and place.”

All about the people we have. People are our greatest assets. Again, we have a highly diverse population. We have really strong-performing school districts. And our university partners are phenomenal in this. They are not only producing the talent that they will need, but they have also become really strong research and development partners to our companies and the quality of place and quality of life across our community. Those are all critical jobs, people, and place, and we have got all of those three phenomenal factors to make the move to our San Antonio region,” Matta-Barrera said.

For more information on Greater: SATX, click here.

About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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