A partnership with Texas Workforce Commission and Workforce Solutions will help employees seeking industry-recognized certificates; City-funded program to assist employees with the cost of obtaining degrees.

Pharr, Texas – In an effort to support the educational aspirations of employees seeking to pursue their professional growth, the City of Pharr is proud to announce the launching of the city’s first-ever Employee Development Pilot Program through two separate educational pathways. The Employee Development Pilot Program I (EDP Program I) will consist of a partnership with both the Texas Workforce Commission and Workforce Solutions and will assist employees in earning an industry-recognized certificate. 

Through a separate city venture, Employee Development Pilot Program II (EDP Program II) will provide assistance to employees pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Professional development is pivotal to improving the workforce and quality of life, and Pharr hopes to encourage its employees to continue working toward pursuing their professional educational goals.

“Opportunities for collaboration ultimately strengthen our entire community,” said Frank Almaraz, Chief Executive Officer, Workforce Solutions. “Not only will this partnership offer City of Pharr employees training towards industry-recognized credentials, but it will also encourage job satisfaction and upward mobility within city departments that could lead to positions with higher pay,” he added.

According to data provided by the City of Pharr Human Resources Department, the city currently has 606 Full-Time Employees (FTEs). Of these FTEs, only 48 employees (7.9%) have at least 60 hours of college or an associate’s degree and 72 employees (11.9%) have a bachelor’s degree or above. Among the FTEs in the Fire and Police Departments, about 65 employees (10.7%) have some sort of education who are civil service employees. In total, only about 185 employees (30.5%) have pursued some sort of education. Through both Employee Education Pilot Programs, the city hopes to improve the number of employees with industry-recognized certificates and professional degrees. 

“We want our employees to excel in the workplace, at home, and in our community,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. “There are many employees who would like to pursue higher education, but because of financial or other reasons, have been unable to do so,” continued Hernandez.

These programs will also be in alignment with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s “60x30TX” Higher Education Strategic Plan, which states that by 2030, at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree. Pharr is excited to contribute to this strategic plan through its Employee Development Pilot Programs.

As part of this $100,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission and Workforce Solutions, the City plans to promote learning and educational advancement while helping employees seek industry-recognized certificates.

For those employees interested in pursuing higher education, the City has committed funding that will be used to assist employees enrolling in associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree programs as long as the program aligns with their career path in the City.

“The City of Pharr is committed to helping our employees improve their educational attainment level, which will ultimately improve their quality of life and serve as an inspiration to their families and our community; creating a culture of lifelong learning amongst our community,” said Hernandez. “We are excited about these two new Employee Development Pilot Programs and partnership and would like to especially thank our partners at the Texas Workforce Commission, Commissioner Julian Alvarez, and Frank Almaraz, CEO, Workforce Solutions for making this possible for our employees,” he continued.

“Together we are transforming our community and workforce through education!” he added.