Posts Tagged ‘career’

Raiders of the Future Workforce search for inquiring minds at Southwest High

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Students attending a career fair at Southwest High School receive information from Chamber members.

by Leah Stout, Marketing Intern

More than 60 Chamber member businesses jumped at the chance to inspire and discover students who attend Southwest High school at a May 17th career fair.

For the second year, Allison Voss, 9th grade counselor at Fort Worth ISD’s Southwest High, reached out to the Chamber to help recruit businesses for the 2nd annual career fair.

About 1,200 students had the opportunity to visit almost 70 different booths, where they received information from colleges and businesses in the Fort Worth area.  Students were encouraged to begin planning their degrees and careers by learning what studies are required and the salaries and benefits associated with various business fields.

“These endeavors are necessary to motivate students to grow in their skills and education in order to secure our future workforce,” said Lydia Hall, the Chamber’s vice president of Programs and Events.

Chamber members made up 90 percent of the businesses represented at the fair, many from the Chamber’s Southwest Area Council.

Positive feedback has been received, and member participants such as Park Place Motorcars, Southwest Bank, YMCA, Justin Brands, Medstar Mobile Healthcare and TCU have already communicated an eagerness to be included again next year.

Participating organizations from UTA to Easter Seals North Texas said it was a gratifying experience and that it helped instill values that employers are looking for, identify those seeking internship opportunities and grow new business contacts.

Students’ focus on career paths has sharpened in response to revised state requirements under HB5, passed in 2013. Beginning in the eighth grade, students and parents work with educators to plan coursework for careers aligned with aptitudes and interests in five “endorsement” areas – Business & Industry; Arts & Humanities; Public Services; STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and Multidisciplinary Studies.

Plans are to grow the career fair even further; it took place last year in the school library, but expanded to two additional classrooms this year. Organizers expect it to be held in the Southwest High Raiders gym next spring.

“This event provided positive incentive for students to achieve success, and will benefit businesses in the community at large,” said Hall.

Contact Hall or Glenn Spoons, the Chamber’s Director of Education, if you wish to receive more information, or be included in further education initiatives.



TCC Gives Students Jump Start on Careers in Aviation, Logistics, Technology

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Fort Worth students explored training programs, met industry representatives at Alliance Airport facility

Tarrant County College is giving hundreds of Fort Worth high school students an introduction to the high-demand career fields of aviation, transportation, logistics and information technology.

The College’s Center for Excellence in Aviation, Transportation and Logistics (CEATL) at Alliance Airport hosted the students for hands-on learning and demonstrations March 7-11. The event was co-sponsored by the Fort Worth Independent School District, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Tarrant County.

Participants attend Arlington Heights, Southwest, O.D. Wyatt, Eastern Hills and Amon Carter-Riverside high schools and are involved in the High School Success Interventions (HSSI) program, funded by United Way of Tarrant County as part of the Learn Well initiative. During the event, students toured the College’s advanced training facility; learned about the education required for career success; explored booths and labs staffed by instructors as well as representatives from business and industry; and practiced interview skills with TCC career advisors and industry recruiters.

“In an increasingly global society, there is more demand than ever for transportation, logistics and technology professionals,” said Michael Lucchesi, CEATL director. “TCC has strong partnerships with top companies and unique, high-tech training sites. By creating opportunities for high school students to experience these benefits, the College helps ensure a pipeline of skilled workers into the future.”

View pictures from the student’s day here.

Innovative educational partnerships and programs such as this event are critical to continued economic development in Fort Worth, as noted in Mayor Betsy Price’s recent State of the City address.

“As Mayor Price emphasized, a strong education system is the foundation for Fort Worth’s vitality in every area,” said Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber. “TCC plays an important role in preparing the next generation for college and career success, and we are proud to work with the Fort Worth ISD and the College on this special opportunity to take students’ education beyond the classroom and into real-world settings.”

Information technology positions are among the highest-paying associate degree occupations in Tarrant County. IT professionals are needed in virtually every industry, and it is one of the nation’s biggest and most rapidly growing employment areas. Professionals include programmers, database administrators, network specialists, data security experts and system administrators.

Transportation and logistics workers range from pilots and aircraft specialists to dispatchers, distribution managers and more. Employment growth is projected in Tarrant County and beyond. The worldwide aviation industry, for example, is expected to need more than a million new commercial pilots and maintenance technicians in the next two decades, according to the Boeing’s 2015 Pilot & Technician Outlook.

At 163,500 square feet, CEATL is the largest aviation education facility in Texas. Students have access to professional training equipment, including a fuselage mockup of a G-280 Gulfstream aircraft donated by Gulf Aerospace and aircraft windows donated by Southwest Airlines. Logistics students learn in a warehouse laboratory with an on-demand warehouse management system. CEATL is part of TCC’s Northwest Campus.

TCC offers a variety of information technology programs across the District, with specialized facilities that give students access to industry-leading software and equipment. Training features include game design and programming labs, Cisco Networking Academy Labs, VMware Academy Lab with virtualization software, EMC Storage Technologies Lab with cloud-computing technology and Virtualized Network Environment Lab for information assurance and security courses, among others.




“Fabulous” Ros has held Chamber purse strings for three decades

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Rosalind Sullivan

It was 1986. Ronald Reagan was president, our country celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the first time, Top Gun was the highest grossing movie and Dionne Warwick and Friends topped Billboard with “That’s What Friends Are For.”

That was also the year Rosalind Sullivan applied for an accounting job at the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, which was then under the umbrella of the Fort Worth Chamber.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Ros graduated from Polytechnic High School, attended a local business school and landed her first job in the downtown federal building.

Ros always knew she loved working with numbers, so accounting was a good fit for her. Today, Ros specifically handles the Chamber’s accounts receivable. She is also treasurer of the Fort Worth Farm and Ranch Club, an independent group of the Chamber.

“She has a great disposition and pleasant demeanor about her,” said Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber. “She is so conscientious and dependable, and what you see is what you get: a consistent effort.”

As is his custom with many employees, Thornton nicknamed Ros “Fabulous” when he joined chamber staff in 1989.

The Chamber and the city have grown immensely throughout Ros’s career. Since 1986, she’s seen the advent of the digital age, the revitalization of downtown after the tornado of 2000, and Excel spreadsheets have completely transformed the numbers business- especially for professionals like Ros, who recalls using green-sheeted ledger books.

“The biggest changes I’ve seen are in the marketing department and in economic development,” she said. “Back then we didn’t have Forward Fort Worth,” referring to an economic development funding program which raises around $1.4 million every year.

Over the years, the largest receivable Sullivan remembers recording came from the Chamber’s partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington’s Research Institute (UTARI). From 1984-1990, the chamber helped UTARI develop a robotics institute in Fort Worth by passing funds through its foundation.

“It is exceptional that someone would be able to contribute as much as she has for 30 years,” said Patti Steelman, vice president and controller at the Chamber. Steelman has worked with Sullivan for the past 15 years. “Her depth of knowledge is invaluable,” she said.

For Ros, the perfect day in Fort Worth would be somewhere near the water in one of the city’s many beautiful parks. Her hobbies include traveling, going to movies and plays, and thrift shopping around Fort Worth.

Fun Fact: “Fabulous” once rode on the back of a motorcycle from Fort Worth to Tyler, Texas and back.


Workforce group creating “pathways” for students

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Dr. Mark Tarpley, QWDC Chairman

Look up “college assistance” on Google and 497 million results are found. “Careers in Fort Worth” generates 26.8 million. How does a teen determine where to look? Where is a central place for information about courses, college and careers in our area?

To provide that resource and enhance college and career readiness for Fort Worth ISD students, the Chamber is spearheading a collective impact project called Strategic Pathways to Student Success (SPSS).

The Fort Worth ISD is the sixth largest school district in Texas, serving 83,255 students with a wide range of diversity. The project’s goal is to help FWISD students make informed choices about career pathways and employment opportunities.

On November 11, the Task Force Members and their teams gave a presentation regarding the Strategic Pathways to Student Success Model to approximately 60 leaders representing business, education, workforce, philanthropic and community groups.

See photos from the event here.

Dr. Mark Tarpley, Quality Workforce Development Committee chairman, said the intent of the model is for “students to be more engaged and better prepared for life by selecting appropriate pathways that lead to a diploma, certification, college or gainful employment.”

To reach this goal, a five-member Task Force was created, with the Fort Worth Chamber Quality Workforce Development Committee as the backbone. Dr. Cynthia Fisher Miller, vice president of Education and Workforce Development, provides strategic coherence and operational support.

Task Force members who gave progress updates at the meeting included: Rodney Mayo, Department of Defense/Lockheed Martin Fort Worth; Lauren Doeren, Parent/Nonprofit Executive; Dr. Stacy Burrell, Fort Worth ISD; Marilyn Jones, United Way, and Fred Schmidt, Tarrant County College.

Community leaders, employers and parents have also been volunteering time to help with this project.

The incubation of this collective impact project is funded in part by a grant from TG in Round Rock, Texas.

Lauren Doeren, Parent/Nonprofit Executive, said the SPSS model “intends to develop and provide a High Tech and High Touch approach to interacting with the target population of students, their counselors, and their parents, using the Fort Worth ISD as a pilot school district.”

Doeren explained that in May 2014, the team assembled to develop the framework for the model to leverage existing community and technical resources. After analyzing the key focus points and working over 2,000 volunteer hours, the model was created.

They focused their efforts on three work groups: Survey Work Group, Data Cataloging Work Group and Mapping Work Group.

The purpose of the survey group was to gather input from students, parents and employers on the model. The data cataloging group will capture and organize the best sources of the data. The mapping work group will assure that pathways and educational resources are aligned.

One key factor that the Task Force team and volunteers are excited about is the GO Centers.

Dr. Stacy Burrell with Fort Worth ISD said that the GO Centers “aspire to help students to explore and adopt pathways to careers and college.” Mentors visit the centers to meet with students and provide information and encouragement, she said.

SPRNext steps on the project for spring 2016 are to narrow the focus on two or three measurable shared outcomes, approved by the Fort Worth ISD and aligned with their goals and objectives, and begin to track progress.

For more information or to get involved in the initiative, contact Dr. Cynthia Fisher Miller at or 817/338-3360. For detailed information, see the attached briefing material.







Survey takes pulse of women execs

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

2014 WIB Logo

An inscription on Texas Woman’s University’s “Pioneer Woman” statue spoke well for TWU President and Chancellor Carine Feyten and the 150 Fort Worth businesswomen who gathered last August at the City Club to hear her keynote address at a Women Influencing Business (WIB) event:

“Marking a trail in a pathless wilderness,” the inscription reads, “pressing forward with unswerving courage she met each untried situation with a resourcefulness equal to the need.”

The thoughts summarize Feyten’s rise as a leader and WIB’s aims as a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce program designed to help strengthen career-building and business opportunities for local businesswomen.

Launched by the Chamber in 2007, WIB works to increase visibility of businesswomen, recognize companies who value their talent, and foster social interaction among professional women of all ages.

As part of efforts to continuously improve WIB, the Chamber recently surveyed members who are businesswomen to gauge WIB relevance, their knowledge of WIB, interest in women’s programs, and to obtain feedback on programming, said Brittany Brookens, whose Chamber role as director of Special Group Engagement is “to make sure we stay true to the (WIB) mission.”

“We will use the results to help plan for our 2016-2017 programming year,” she said.

“We will also compare our research with other successful women’s programs around the country to find the best fit for us.”

With more than 200 responses, the survey found a need for WIB to strengthen its communication with members, Brookens said.

“We learned that many women of the Chamber do not know about WIB or understand the purpose of the program, so we have work to do to correct that.”

Nearly half of the respondents said WIB’s top benefit is the inspiration gained from interaction with successful women. Making new business contacts was listed by nearly a third of respondents as WIB’s leading benefit.

“We also found that women chamber members are looking for more leadership development and networking opportunities, so we will work to create programming around that.”




Chamber hosts training for FWISD STEM teachers

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

STEM teachers in training at the Fort Worth Chamber offices.

The Chamber had the privilege of hosting 33 Fort Worth ISD STEM teachers August 20 for Spark 101 teacher training, thanks to Dr. Alma Charles and Sarah Rogers of the Fort Worth ISD, who are spearheading the introduction of this exciting STEM initiative.

Spark 101 delivers dynamic, real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) content to classrooms. Its mission is to engage students, educators, and organizations. To connect everyday problems that companies face to classroom teaching and learning, and to inspire students to pursue STEM coursework and careers.

The program leverages short, interactive case study videos; educator resources; industry ties; and the success of the 114th Partnership, a national non-profit focused on graduating all students prepared and inspired to thrive in college and careers.

“We hosted the training to demonstrate the Chamber’s support of these teachers and to model the business community’s desire to work collaboratively with teachers to help them prepare students for STEM-focused future careers,” said Cynthia Miller, vice president of Workforce Development & Education for the Fort Worth Chamber. “We see Spark 101 as an exciting and scalable approach to help align educational preparation with future workforce needs.”






Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Recognized as Three-Star Chamber of Valor by Hiring Our Heroes

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Army veterans talk to employers at the July 30 Hiring Our Heroes event in Arlington.

Top Honor for Local and State Chambers that Demonstrate Leadership in Connecting Companies with Talented Veteran and Military Spouse Candidates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced today that the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has been honored by Hiring Our Heroes with the three-star Chamber of Valor award. The Chamber of Valor award acknowledges the contributions of local chambers, industry associations, and business development organizations that join the Hiring Our Heroes mission of finding meaningful employment for veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

“When it comes to supporting not just veterans and military families, but the local businesses hiring them, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce is setting a standard for others to follow,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. “The Fort Worth Chamber has critically engaged and educated its membership on hiring talented veterans and military spouses throughout the state, and their community is stronger for it.”

Eligible chambers and business organizations may apply for the Chamber of Valor designation or be selected based upon previous accomplishments. Honorees then receive a one-star, two-star, or three-star level designation. The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce is a three-star Chamber of Valor award recipient noted for routinely organizing, promoting, and assisting with recruiting events targeted towards veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

“As one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the United States, it’s critical that every talent resource is leveraged to support our escalating workforce needs,” said Bill Thornton, president and chief executive officer of the Fort Worth Chamber. “With a legacy of defense industry manufacturing and pride in our Joint Reserve Base, this community is eager to help veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life, and the Chamber is privileged to be a partner in the opportunities provided by Hiring Our Heroes.”


Former Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Chamber CEO Bill Thornton and Workforce Development Manager Betty Harvey accept the Chamber of Valor Award at Globe Life Ballpark.

Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with a vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.

View pictures from the event here.


FWISD students explore careers during summer break

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

David Berzina, EVP of Economic Development, shows students key industry sectors driving economies across the DFW Metroplex.

In July, the Fort Worth Chamber hosted 24 students who were attending the Fort Worth After School program, a 2-week summer camp focused on college and career exploration.

Students attend the following campuses:

Jean McClung MS

Kirkpatrick MS

Leonard MS

McLean MS

Meacham MS

Young Men’s Leadership Academy

They had the opportunity to visit UNTHSC with classroom sessions and hands-on activities during the week of July 13-17. For the week of July 20-24, students visited the Intermodal Transportation Center, UTA Fort Worth Campus, US Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the C.R. Smith Museum.

The Chamber management team visited with the students July 22nd.  See more photos here:


Recruit FWISD graduates at annual June Job Fair

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Hiring Fair 2015 Web Photo

The Fort Worth Chamber has partnered with the Fort Worth Independent School District to present Hiring Fair 2015, where area businesses may recruit graduates for entry-level positions.   Employers may sign up now (FREE registration and booth) for this 22nd annual event.

Go here to register.

  • What:     Hiring Fair 2015
  • When:   Thursday, June 11 (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
  • Where:  Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 West Lancaster Ave, 76107
  • Cost:      No cost for registration or booth

This event targets job opportunities for recent graduates of Fort Worth ISD ages 17 to 21.  More than 800 job seekers seeking entry-level jobs in a variety of industries for full-time, part-time, permanent and temporary positions are anticipated.

Booths go quickly and space is limited. To register for a free booth or obtain additional information, employers may contact Lila Boydston at 817-814-1813 or before May 22.

Event partners for Hiring Fair 2015 are the Fort Worth Chamber, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Volunteer Center of North Texas, and Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County.

Guys Photo HF Girls Photo HF


Digital Manager Christine Gores Brings Virtual Community to Members

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Christine Gores

Christine Gores has served as digital marketing manager for the Chamber since 2012. Because she communicates with members through weekly emails and serves as photographer at many of our events, we thought you’d like to get to know her a little better.

Chamberletter: Tell us about where you’re from and where you went to school.

I’m originally from Albuquerque, NM but moved to Fort Worth, TX when I was 3. I was raised here and have grown up here; therefore, it’s the only place I know, love and call my home. I attended Arlington Heights High School and graduated in 2001. I graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in AD/PR and a minor in Merchandising.

Chamberletter: What did you do before coming to the Chamber?

I’ve been on the payroll at Domain XCIV, a high-end interior design and home furnishing store, since I was 16 (a total of 15 years!) and can still always be found working there around Christmas time. Come visit me on Sundays in December!

Before joining the Chamber in 2012, I worked five-and-a-half years as an account executive and graphic designer for a world-wide equine wholesaler and manufacturer in Granbury, TX called Equibrand Products Group. I also played a large part in marketing, brand and product development and pioneering the usage of social media.

After working at Equibrand for such a long time and with it being my first “real job” after college, I knew that I wanted to take on a new challenge, advance and grow professionally, interact and network with like-minded individuals. One day I was scrolling through Facebook posts and saw that the Chamber had posted a job opening for a digital marketing manager. It was a natural and perfect fit.

I absolutely love working for the Chamber, engaging with people on a daily basis whether it’s through a digital platform or in person, and representing and promoting Fort Worth.

Chamberletter: What’s a typical week for you?

I manage the Chamber’s electronic efforts and implement multi-channel marketing strategies for digital platforms: web, social media and email. In addition, as the in-house graphic designer I create marketing collateral, event programs, graphics, e-templates and act as a liaison between the Chamber and print vendors.

I also make technical updates to our four websites, handle the Chamber publications sales and inventory, take event pictures, field calls from the general public and those wanting to relocate, and seek out new trends and innovative ideas to improve branding, engagement and efficiency within the digital platforms.

Chamberletter: What’s the most interesting project or people you’ve worked on/with so far and why?

Two of my favorite projects:

1.)    Creating, leading and launching our successful #membercrushmonday campaign on Facebook.  We have over 5,000 members and knowing that each one of those individuals has a unique story, achievement, connection or quality makes them intriguing, not just to myself but to others. I think that any of those factors help establish connections and attribute to making that person memorable and easy to relate to, and I love learning about our members.

2.)    The conversion and updating of our weekly e-newsletter, the B2B Insider. It’s something I look forward to piecing together every week. I’m proud of the redesign, the open rates and its continued success. I look forward to re-launching an improved weekly E-vents email next year.

Chamberletter: Time for any hobbies?

–          Junior League of Fort Worth (I’m coming up on my 8th year in the League)

–          Mentor for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy/G.E.M.S. Program

–          PR Advisor for the TCU Gamma Phi Beta sorority

–          Mayfest Central Committee

–          Ad Club of Fort Worth

–          Vision Fort Worth Steering Committee

–          Leading Edge, Class of 2015

–          I’m a mom to two beautiful daughters, Vivienne Ryann (2.5 yrs.) & Madeleine Maxine (1 yr. old)

–          I enjoy being creative (arts & crafts), sports, outdoor activities, spending time with family and friends, traveling, enjoy good food and drink, volunteering within our community, learning and accepting new challenges.