Program engages students across all San Antonio universities

SA WORX, the workforce development arm of the economic development organization greater:SATX, launched its new Alamo Fellows program alongside local leaders, employers and students. The program aims to increase community, career and social connections for first-generation college students with the goal of retaining talented college graduates to build their careers here in San Antonio.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 40 percent of students entering college in the U.S. are first-generation. In San Antonio, colleges and universities serve more first-generation students than any other metro area in the U.S.

“Many first-generation students navigate their educational journeys with less access to resources than their peers from generations of college-goers. By investing in building their social capital, we’re supporting the strength and diversity of our future workforce,” said Romanita Matta-Barrera, Chief Workforce Officer, greater:SATX. “First-generation students demonstrate high levels of grit and resilience in navigating new opportunities and institutions. This is the type of competitive workforce we need to stay here, develop amazing careers and build our future companies.”

Through a competitive application process, the Workforce Team at greater:SATX selected the first cohort of 24 students pursuing STEM degrees to participate in the two-year program. The Alamo Fellows represent all of San Antonio’s 4-year universities, including Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary’s University, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Trinity University, The University of the Incarnate Word, and The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Through the program, Fellows will be connected to paid internships with local employers and nonprofits to enhance their professional skills and community involvement. Most importantly, the program will facilitate professional networking interactions outside their college communities to bolster the Fellows’ networks in the San Antonio region. A recent study by Opportunity Insights found that the strength of our social networks plays a key role in upward economic mobility.

Business engagement in workforce development is critical to ensuring San Antonians are prepared for the in-demand jobs employers need to fill. Thanks to generous support from Bank of America, Alamo Fellows will facilitate new opportunities for San Antonio university students.

“Uplifting our diverse community is what drives Bank of America here in San Antonio,” said Ventura Perez, President, Bank of America San Antonio. “The Alamo Fellows program opens doors for first-generation students to boost their resumes and experiences while ushering in a healthy workforce for the future of San Antonio. This new partnership with SA WORX builds upon our longtime support of the organization’s youth Summer Internship program, and we are excited to continue to work together to offer innovative solutions to ensure San Antonio students have the opportunity to build careers in our city.”

Additional in-kind support from SWBC will provide Fellows with continuing education opportunities to build critical professional skills.

“SWBC is proud to support Alamo Fellows and greater:SATX for their efforts to help young San Antonians build careers in our community. Through our swbcU platform, students will gain access to professional development modules and materials that SWBC’s clients benefit from every day. We’re honored to provide Alamo Fellows with access to tools needed to develop professionally,” said Deborah Gray Marino, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations, SWBC.

The Alamo Fellows working group, made up of professionals from Brooks, CPS Energy, Documation, Joeris General Contractors, KFW Engineers, Turner Construction Company, Valero, and the 80/20 Foundation, will provide ongoing programming support.