President POV

Invested in Us

By Jenna Saucedo-Herrera

This is my favorite time of year. Beyond the holiday excitement, my team and I are always busy, closing deals, making job growth announcements and planning for the next year. Q4 is also when our workforce team connects thousands of San Antonio youth to career opportunities in target sectors. It’s when our team closes the year strong and looks ahead to building even greater momentum for the next. Rather than belabor the unique challenges of 2020, I’d like to focus on what remains unchanged: the San Antonio region is aligned, and all-in on investing in us—our people, our infrastructure, and our industries.

Early in the pandemic, anchor companies like USAA, H-E-B, Valero, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, and Frost Bank, stepped up to invest in San Antonians in need. The public sector quickly supported our workforce training efforts to upskill and reskill displaced workers for new careers in jobs hiring now. When put to a vote earlier this month, the community overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to enhance and scale the efforts with a four-year, $154M tax revenue reallocation. The community’s investment in workforce training, tuition assistance, wrap-around services, and job matching will help San Antonians transition into new careers, build a stronger workforce and improve families’ economic mobility.

SA2020, the nonprofit helping us track progress toward the Community Vision, set out in 2020 to reinforce that vision for our next 10 years of growth. Even as we’ve had to physically distance from our co-workers, friends, and community at large, 11,000 San Antonians engaged and reaffirmed our community vision. We are the only large U.S. city with a shared community vision and a nonprofit team measuring our progress—speaking volumes about our collective commitment to Us.

Another example of our multi-sector commitment to Us, is local entrepreneur and philanthropist, Graham Weston’s, Community Labs. The partnership uses a local lab developed by BioBridge Global to empower schools and businesses to reopen and create COVID-19 Safety Zones through regular testing, identification of infections, and isolation. It’s the first community effort of its kind with 7 nonprofit and philanthropic partners behind it.

As we launch our regional economic development strategy in 2021, I’m humbled to serve alongside our powerhouse board of volunteer executive leaders bringing in diverse perspectives across industry, business size, gender, race, and district.

Our proven commitment to Us can set us apart from other communities and further position Us to grow smart, grow together, and gain well-deserved recognition for being a city where the American Dream is alive and winning because of the people within.