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In San Antonio and South Texas

San Antonio Employment and Opportunity in San Antonio and South Texas

 

Texas has neither state nor corporate income taxes, is a right-to-work state and prides itself on its business-friendly climate. San Antonio’s business culture flourishes in a pro-growth environment (abundant land, energy and tax incentives), a pro-business government that welcomes new business and a large, educated workforce.

Along with Dallas and Houston, San Antonio is part of the region dubbed the “Texas Triangle,” with high-tech powerhouse Austin just inside a line drawn between Dallas and San Antonio. According to Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center, the triangle’s 60,000 square miles are the state’s economic heart where roughly 68 percent of the state’s jobs earn 73 percent of its income for 75 percent of the Texas population, or 17 million people.

San Antonio’s economy is diversified. It is among the nation’s leading centers for cybersecurity. In the past 25 years, the local aerospace industry has grown nearly 400 percent according to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. Business services, including manufacturing and distribution, represented 2,850 of the 4,750 new jobs in 2014 reported by SAEDF.

The economic impact of the bioscience and health care industry was more than $37 billion in 2015, according to a San Antonio Chamber of Commerce study, and nearly one out of every six employees in San Antonio works in health care and bioscience. Over the past decade, these two industry sectors have added 41,567 new jobs, a 40 percent increase.

San Antonio’s ability to support solar energy year-round (an average of 220 sunny days per year) and its potential for wind power (on Dec. 20, 2015, winds from a low pressure system supplied 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs) make it attractive for the alternative energy industry.

Joint Base San Antonio also is a major employer, encompassing as it does three geographically separated installations. JBSA, the single largest base/enterprise in the Department of Defense, had more than 80,000 employees in 2016.

Tourism and conventions are big business in San Antonio. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center reopened Jan 26, 2016, after a whopping $325 million expansion and now has 514,000 square feet of space for exhibits, 86,500 square feet of column-free multipurpose space, 70 meeting rooms, two ballrooms — one of them the largest in Texas — and the Lila Cockrell Theatre for the performing arts. Conventions bring in millions of dollars in tourism revenues, and the center is expected to rank among the top convention centers in the U.S., with associated employment opportunities. Established tourist draws include, of course, the Alamo Mission ( www.thealamo.org ), which nearly 3 million visitors tour every year; the San Antonio River Walk ( www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com ), downtown’s meandering path of shops, restaurants, bars and theater; SeaWorld San Antonio ( www.seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sanantonio ), a watery theme park that is one of the city’s top attractions; and the Six Flags Fiesta Texas ( www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas ) amusement park.

Ranching and agriculture, the military, retail, the railroad and government entities have been economic drivers in Val Verde County and Del Rio, the county seat, from the beginning, though tourism and manufacturing, or maquiladoras, also are important, given Del Rio’s Mexican sister city, Ciudad Acuna, right across the Rio Grande. The mammoth Amistad Reservoir that divides Mexico and the U.S., and the Amistad National Recreation Area on the U.S. side, also have drawn increasing numbers of vacationers since the Lake Amistad Dam across the Rio Grande was completed in 1969.

Two international crossings carry goods and people between the two nations: the Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and the Del Rio-Ciudad Acuna International Bridge.

Laughlin Air Force Base is the largest employer in the region; the U.S. Border Patrol also is significant, with two stations and sector headquarters that secure 210 miles along the Rio Grande between the U.S. and Mexico to block passage of drugs and prevent illegal immigration into the U.S. The agents cover Amistad Reservoir and the rugged country surrounding it on the U.S. side and 59,541 square miles of Texas that stretch 300 miles into the interior. The 41 counties in the sector are sparsely populated, dotted with isolated ranches and farms, and the sector is a favored corridor for drug and illegal immigrant smuggling.

Del Rio is one of five U.S. cities with an FBI regional headquarters office, and there is a federal courthouse as well.

The Val Verde Correctional Facility in Del Rio, another major employer, completed its latest expansion in 2007 to 303,543 square feet. The medium security prison can house 1,407 inmates. Its clients are Val Verde County, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, the federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Homeland Security — Border Protection.

Other likely regional employment areas are in production, transportation or material moving; construction, extraction and maintenance and repair; management, business and finance; and education.

Del Rio has a geographical advantage over inland cities, what with Ciudad Acuna right across an international bridge that gives access to some 50 factories, or maquiladoras, on the Mexico side. Officials from both cities work together to improve their mutual business environment, and almost 3,000 Del Rio residents cross the bridge daily to jobs in Acuna. Many of these factories operate as twin plants with manufacturing in Ciudad Acuna and offices and shipping operations in Del Rio. Manufacturers include Alcoa, Bendix, Caterpillar, Kimberly-Clark, Toter Inc. and W.E.T. Automotive. Traffic between the two cities has become so intense that leaders from both sides are pushing for another international bridge and a railway spur.

Those dreaming of starting a business or strengthening an existing one can find help at the Sul Ross Rio Grande College Small Business Development Center in Del Rio. Part of the South-West Texas Border Small Business Development Center Network, it provides counseling for new business start-ups, loan assistance, pre-venture information, business plans, capital source suggestions, and information on required permits and licenses, filing reports and record keeping. Established businesses can fine-tune operations by using the center’s counselors on accounting and records, labor and tax planning, manufacturing, expansions and acquisitions, marketing and sales, international trade, export and import advice, inventory control, debt restructuring and cost management. Call 830-703-4811 for more information.

San Antonio and South Texas are rich in groups dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small and newly formed businesses succeed. Resources include:

In early 2016, San Antonio’s Economic Development Department released a list of recent rankings for the city: It was No. 10 on Forbes’ Top 10 list of fastest growing cities; No. 10 on Milken Institute’s list for top job growth; No. 2 on Milken Institute’s cities with the most economic momentum, right behind Austin; and in first place for Forbes’ millennial population growth — the 20- to 29-year-old population grew 9.2 percent from 2010 through 2013, a jump of 28,600 people.

The median age in San Antonio is nearly 33 years old and Del Rio is 32 years old, meaning the workforce skews younger. Median household income in San Antonio was $48,183 and $41,662 in Del Rio, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The sales tax is 8.25 percent.

Highway, Air and Rail Access – and a Port

San Antonio’s location makes it a natural connector between the East and West coasts, Canada and Mexico, and Central and South America. Its highways, especially north-south Interstate 35 and east-west Interstate 10, carry goods and people to other Texas population centers, border crossings into Mexico at Del Rio, Laredo and Eagle Pass, and the ports at Houston and Corpus Christi and beyond. More than half the goods traveling between the U.S. and Mexico pass through San Antonio, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation reports, and many of these northbound goods come from the maquiladora industries in northern Mexico.

The local transit system, VIA, has one of the most comprehensive public transportation systems in the country with 7,080 stops along 91 bus lines, in addition to Bus Rapid Transit service. Multiple motor freight carriers take advantage of the city’s location, distribution and storage centers and business-friendly ways; many specialize in particular types of cargo.

Master planning has converted the former Kelly Air Force Base into Port San Antonio, a 1,900-acre aerospace and industrial complex and an international logistics platform. It splits the difference between the East and West coasts, is on the NAFTA Corridor between Mexico and Canada and has been designated a Foreign Trade Zone. Transportation includes an airport with an 11,500-foot runway; two railroads, Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe; and three interstate highways: I-35, I-10 and I-37.

Five major seaports lie within a three-day drive: Houston and Corpus Christi in the U.S. and Manzanillo, Veracruz and Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico. More than 90 million potential customers are within a two-day drive.

From a duty and tax standpoint, San Antonio benefits as a Foreign Trade Zone, with 11 separate sites where businesses can take advantage of duty reduction or elimination, duty deferral or direct delivery, cutting their costs.

San Antonio’s Aviation Department operates San Antonio International Airport, plus the second-oldest general-aviation airport in the country, Stinson Municipal Airport, both open 24/7. San Antonio International Airport is about 8 miles north of downtown; U.S. 281 and Loop 410 provide direct access. Airlines including Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, Interjet, Southwest, United and Volaris provide service across the United States and into Mexico.

Del Rio is on long-established trade routes between San Antonio to the east and El Paso to the west, and between Mexico and points north in the United States. The city figures in the nation’s planned transportation infrastructure as part of future Interstate 27 from Laredo, Texas, to the Oklahoma Panhandle. Texas state Highway Loop 79 opened its four lanes in 2012 and ties together U.S. 90, U.S. 277 and U.S. 377; it is part of the Ports to Plains Corridor and a component of the hoped-for southern and northern extensions of Interstate 27, which currently runs from Amarillo to Lubbock. The Texas Department of Transportation is studying the feasibility of these north-south extensions to that interstate, which would encourage trade with Mexico. At present east-west U.S. 90 connects San Antonio to El Paso by way of Del Rio. North-south U.S. Route 277 goes north to San Angelo and southeast to Carrizo Springs, where it links to U.S. Route 83 to Laredo. U.S. Route 377 spans West Texas north to Fort Worth.

Natural Resources

Fertile soil, moderate weather and pure water from rivers, springs and artesian wells lured small-tract farmers and ranchers to Bexar County from the 1700s, though by the late 19th century, massive cattle drives made big ranches more profitable, and the cotton culture that flourished prior to the Great Depression further consolidated land holdings into fewer hands. By the end of World War II, livestock supplied more than half the county’s agricultural income, though wool and mohair also were major exports. However, as San Antonio has grown, farm and ranch production has shrunk. In 1982, Bexar County ranked 53rd among the state’s counties in agricultural receipts; in 2012, 20 years later, the county had fallen to No. 85. In 2007, there were nearly 426,000 acres of farmland in Bexar County, but within five years, that had declined 19 percent, to 342,882 acres.

The Census of Agriculture showed the top five crop areas in value in 2012 to be nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod products; cattle and calves; grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas; other crops and hay; and lastly, vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

In 1889, oil was discovered, and oil and gas production remain important economic forces. Other mineral resources, to a lesser extent, include limestone, kaolin, clay, fuller’s earth, greensand, lignite and sulfur springs.

Val Verde County’s arid scrub country turned out to be just what goats and sheep like best, and the 2012 Census of Agriculture count ranked the county No. 3 in the state in sheep, goat, wool, mohair and milk production and No. 12 in the nation. There were 41,840 sheep and lambs and 31,273 goats then, a total of 73,113, and sheep and goats outnumbered the 48,879 human residents by 24,234.

One of the more unlikely but flourishing enterprises has been the Val Verde Winery, which will celebrate its 135th year in 2018. Milanese winemaker Frank Qualia was among settlers arriving in 1883, and he realized the potential of the Lenoir, or Black Spanish grape, that made its way from the Carolinas to Southwest Texas. In 1900, 191,000 pounds of grapes were produced in the county and turned into 5,372 gallons of wine. The oldest bonded winery in Texas — some say the nation — the Val Verde Winery in downtown Del Rio now has eight wines and an award-winning tawny port under its label, and is still run by the Qualia family, which in 2007 expanded into olive oil by planting 500 Arbequina olive trees. Their first crop in 2012 produced enough of the buttery, fragrant oil for 65 cases. Go to www.valverdewinery.com for more information.

Increasing numbers of tourists are being drawn to Lake Amistad and the Amistad National Recreation Area for the reservoir’s pristine waters, water-based recreation, camping, hiking, rock-art viewing, bird-watching, hunting and fishing — ESPN gives it a No. 1 ranking for bass. Its shoreline of rolling grassy banks and limestone cliffs measures 851 miles, over twice as long as the whole Texas coastline of 367 miles, and the lake’s clear water and underwater rock formations attract scuba divers. At 65,000 surface acres of water, Amistad is the second-largest lake in Texas, behind only Toledo Bend, and lies at the confluence of the Rio Grande, the Devils River and the Pecos River. Park rangers lead visitors on hikes to view prehistoric pictographs in Seminole Canyon and Panther Cave, and millions of spectacular Monarch butterflies make the park a rest stop during their annual migrations.

Joint Base San Antonio and Laughlin Air Force Base

Joint Base San Antonio is far and away the biggest employer in San Antonio, with more than 80,000 employees at JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Randolph as of 2016, according to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. The most recent Military Economic Impact Statement, for fiscal 2013, determined JBSA’s total economic impact on the community to be $9.7 billion.

Total forces at the three bases numbered 295,907, the Department of Defense calculated: 161,971 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 117,994 at JBSA-Lackland and 15,942 at JBSA-Randolph. In addition, there were 81,228 Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine retirees living in the area, and 206,910 veterans.

In fiscal 2013, activities at JBSA created an estimated 50,968 new jobs, each drawing an average annual salary of $40,760; their estimated annual value was $2.1 billion.

Laughlin Air Force Base is the largest employer in Val Verde County with 1,387 active-duty military, 1,032 civilians, 1,268 family members, 72 reservists, 32 foreign student pilots and 267 contractors, according to the most recent figures from the base. In fiscal 2014, the base created 3,654 direct jobs and 845 indirect jobs and the total impact on the local economy was $214.5 million.

In addition to 165 buildings, three runways and 4,500 acres of land, Laughlin has the busiest Air Force airfield in the world, and the base’s 47th Flying Training Wing produces more than one-third of the service’s new pilots every year. For more information, go to www.laughlin.af.mil.

Self-Employment

San Antonio Employment and Economy Self-Employment

 

San Antonio Small Business

Development Center

501 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.........................210-458-2460

http://sasbdc.org 

The San Antonio Small Business Development Center offers confidential advice, workshops and training on subjects such as developing a business plan, networking and use of social media; referrals; research sources; and potential lifelong business partners.

Small Business Resources

www.usa.gov/business 

Learn the steps to start and grow a small business at USA.gov’s Small Business website. The platform features hand-picked government websites helpful to small business owners. Learn about business taxes and incentives, financing a business, importing and exporting, federal government contracting, state business resources and more. The website also provides information on a wide range of programs and services to help veterans, women, minorities and the economically disadvantaged start or grow a business.

Civilian Opportunities

San Antonio Employment and Economy Civilian Opportunities

 

Federal Jobs

Visit www.usajobs.gov to search for Department of Defense jobs at Joint Base San Antonio or Laughlin Air Force Base.

NAF Jobs

For information about service jobs, including openings in lodging, marina, recreation areas and other nonappropriated fund positions, go to www.nafjobs.org/viewjobs.aspx and search for Joint Base San Antonio or Laughlin Air Force Base.

Exchange and Commissary Jobs

For exchange jobs, visit the AAFES career page at https://odin.aafes.com/employment. For commissary jobs, search www.commissaries.com.

Employment Resources

San Antonio Employment and Economy Resources

 

EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES

National Resources

At the national level such websites as www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, www.jobs.com and www.indeed.com have extensive search capabilities as well as resume tips, forum support and professional networking options.

The National Military Spouse Network, a networking, mentoring and professional development organization, has a wealth of career information at its website, www.nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org. The group aims to help military spouses build a meaningful, sustained career path and offers a library of articles that touch on topics from entrepreneurship, resume tips, self-promotion and more as well as a membership-only discussion forum. The organization also features companies that are military spouse-owned or military spouse-friendly on its Homefront Business Listings page.

Local Resources
Texas Workforce Commission

www.twc.state.tx.us/programs

The Texas Workforce Commission’s Employment Service provides the largest free job-matching network in the state at www.workintexas.com. It also offers programs such as skills development, child care services, apprenticeships and veterans’ services. For detailed program information, visit the commission online. For more information, visit the website or one of the local offices:

1927 Bedell Ave.
Del Rio, TX 78840
830-774-4741

4535 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX 78220
210-581-0190

6723 S. Flores St., Suite 100
San Antonio, TX 78221
210-928-3985

1499 Hillcrest Drive
San Antonio, TX 78338
210-438-0581

4615 Walzem Road, Suite 100
San Antonio, TX 78218
210-822-7640

7008 Marbach Road
San Antonio, TX 78227
210-436-0670

Bexar County Human Resources

211 S. Flores St.
San Antonio, TX 78204
210-335-2545
http://home.bexar.org/hr
http://agency.governmentjobs.com/bexarcountytx

Bexar County jobs are posted online along with benefits information. Those seeking jobs must create an account to apply online.

City of Del Rio

Human Resources Department
109 W. Broadway St.
Del Rio, TX 78840
830-774-8792
www.cityofdelrio.com/408/Human-Resources

Del Rio’s Human Resources Department administers hiring and benefits for city employees. A separate website for available jobs spells out their requirements, salaries and benefits: www.cityofdelrio.com/jobs.aspx.

City of San Antonio Human Resources

111 Soledad St., Suite 100
San Antonio, TX 78205
210-207-8705
www.sanantonio.gov/HR/CareerCenter

Visit the city’s online career center to view job openings. Jobs listed under the main job vacancies use online applications only; other positions may require additional information or documentation, so read all instructions carefully.

Val Verde County

Human Resources Department
400 Pecan St., Third Floor
Del Rio, TX 78840
830-774-7543
http://valverdecounty.texas.gov/174/Employment-Information

County hires and workforce improvements involve the Val Verde County Human Resources Department.

EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES

An employment agency can offer posts ranging from high-level administration to warehouse work. Many employers use agencies as their human resources department. Agencies advertise, interview, test and manage payroll. A temp-to-perm arrangement allows the employer and prospective employee to evaluate each other before committing to permanent employment.

Municipal and regional chambers of commerce include local employment agencies in their member lists, along with contact information.

JOB-SEEKER TIPS

Always keep your resume up-to-date and have several versions that target specific industries and highlight your skills that fit their job descriptions.

Compile several reference lists with a good variety of people and former business associates. Be sure to first ask each if you can use them as references.

Compose a comprehensive, catchy and succinct cover letter of no more than a page (this is no place to ramble). It will introduce you and your desire to work for the company. Have a knowledgeable friend check it for errors; misspelled words and bad grammar hint at carelessness and indifference. Know what the company does, and highlight skills, work experience and education that apply to the position. Be aware that many employers now accept only online applications so get comfortable with computers.

Maintain a positive, professional and broad-based presence on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn; almost all employers search social media sites to vet job candidates, and your absence there will raise red flags. Also be aware that images and comments posted spur-of-the-moment can be searched out forever and come back to haunt you.

Be prepared for an interview at any time. When you submit your application, a supervisor may want to talk immediately, or the phone may ring with a call from a hiring director. Compose — and rehearse — your one-minute self-promotional speech on who you are, an achievement or two and your strengths. It’s not vanity to make a good first impression. If a supervisor wants to know why she should hire you, be ready.

Always follow up with thank-you letters and calls. Even today, a letter as well as a quick email will separate you from a surprising number of the other applicants — to your advantage — and keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Judicious calls display your continued interest. Writing out beforehand what you want to say helps. So does rehearsal.

Be aware that due to the usually huge numbers of applicants, most companies are able to follow up only with candidates in whom they are interested. Don’t take it personally if you’re not notified that you didn’t get the job.

Employment Resources

National Resources

At the national level, websites such as www.linkedin.com, www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com and www.indeed.com have extensive search capabilities as well as resume tips, forum support and professional networking options.

The National Military Spouse Network, a networking, mentoring and professional development organization, has a wealth of career information at its website, www.nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org. The group aims to help military spouses build a meaningful, sustained career path and offers a library of articles that touch on topics like entrepreneurship, resume tips, self-promotion and more as well as a membership-only discussion forum. The organization also features companies that are military spouse-owned or military spouse-friendly on its Homefront Business Listings page.

Local Resources

Texas Workforce Commission

www.twc.state.tx.us/programs 

The Texas Workforce Commission’s Employment Service provides the largest free job-matching network in the state at www.workintexas.com. It also offers programs such as skills development, child care services, apprenticeships and veterans’ services. For detailed program information, visit the commission online. For more information, visit the website or one of the local offices:

1927 Bedell Ave. Del Rio, TX 78840..................................830-774-4741

4535 E. Houston St. San Antonio, TX 78220.......................210-581-0190

6723 S. Flores St., Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78221..........210-928-3985

1499 Hillcrest Drive San Antonio, TX 78338.......................210-438-0581

4615 Walzem Road, Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78218........210-822-7640

7008 Marbach Road San Antonio, TX 78227.......................210-436-0670

Bexar County Human Resources

211 S. Flores St. San Antonio, TX 78204..........................210-335-2545

http://home.bexar.org/hr 

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/bexarcountytx 

Bexar County jobs are posted online along with benefits information. Those seeking jobs must create an account to apply online.

City of Del Rio

Human Resources Department

109 W. Broadway St. Del Rio, TX 78840...........................830-774-8792

www.cityofdelrio.com/408/Human-Resources 

Del Rio’s Human Resources Department administers hiring and benefits for city employees. A separate website for available jobs spells out their requirements, salaries and benefits: www.cityofdelrio.com/jobs.aspx.

City of San Antonio Human Resources

111 Soledad St., Suite 100 San Antonio, TX 78205............210-207-8705

www.sanantonio.gov/HR/CareerCenter 

Visit the city’s online career center to view job openings. Jobs listed under the main job vacancies use online applications only; other positions may require additional information or documentation, so read all instructions carefully.

Val Verde County

Human Resources Department

400 Pecan St., Third Floor Del Rio, TX 78840....................830-774-7543

http://valverdecounty.texas.gov/174/Employment-Information 

County hires and workforce improvements involve the Val Verde County Human Resources Department.

Employment Agencies

An employment agency can offer posts ranging from high-level administration to warehouse work. Many employers use agencies as their human resources department. Agencies advertise, interview, test and manage payroll. A temp-to-perm arrangement allows the employer and prospective employee to evaluate each other before committing to permanent employment.

Municipal and regional chambers of commerce include local employment agencies in their member lists, along with contact information. See Page 50 for a list of chambers of commerce in San Antonio and Bexar County.

Job-Seekers Tips

Always keep your resume up-to-date and have several versions that target specific industries and highlight your skills that fit their job descriptions.

Compile several reference lists with a good variety of people and former business associates. Be sure to first ask each if you can use them as references.

Compose a comprehensive, catchy and succinct cover letter of no more than a page (this is no place to ramble). It will introduce you and your desire to work for the company. Have a knowledgeable friend check it for errors; misspelled words and bad grammar hint at carelessness and indifference. Know what the company does, and highlight skills, work experience and education that apply to the position.

Maintain a positive, professional and broad-based presence on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn; almost all employers search social media sites to vet job candidates, and your absence there will raise red flags. Also be aware that images and comments posted spur-of-the-moment can be searched out forever and come back to haunt you.

Be prepared for an interview at any time. When you submit your application, a supervisor may want to talk immediately, or the phone may ring with a call from a hiring director. Compose — and rehearse — your one-minute self-
promotional speech on who you are, an achievement or two and your strengths. It’s not vanity to make a good first impression. If a supervisor wants to know why she should hire you, be ready.

Always follow up with thank-you letters and calls. Even today, a letter, as well as the quick-response email, will separate you from a surprising number of the other applicants — to your advantage — and keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Judicious calls display your continued interest. Writing out beforehand what you want to say helps. So does rehearsal.

Be aware that due to the usually huge numbers of applicants, most companies are able to follow up only with candidates in whom they are interested. Don’t take it personally if you are not notified that you did not get the job.

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