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As Austin attracts large companies, the city makes a push to boost local workers over outside talent


The city of Austin is digging into a plan to help residents fill numerous positions with 1,000 scholarships for those trying to climb up in their careers.

Khalyl Woodson is a recipient of the scholarship that’s part of the “hire local” plan the city is teaming up with Workforce Solutions on.

A Pflugerville High School graduate, he talked about how outreach from Workforce Solutions has now allowed him to help support his mother, who has multiple sclerosis.

“She's a hard worker and all that, but I try to help as much as I can,” Woodson told Austonia. “So my thinking was, what can I do to get a flow of income and so I can help my mother.”

He says he’s now working his way up as a Galen College of Nursing student.

The scholarship is hoping to attract people like Woodson who are looking for a career in healthcare, but also in other industries like manufacturing, information technology and skilled trades.

City and county leaders are feeling pressure to make Austin more livable for current and longtime residents while many are facing concerns of being priced out. Contributing to this effect are jobs requiring training or schooling that can be out of reach for some.

"If we don't build a bridge from where you are to where you want to be, we miss a real opportunity to build community," County Commissioner Jeff Travillion said.

The push to get Austinites on the radar of companies is urgent. Mayor Steve Adler said 50,000 new jobs were posted in April this year and that despite the booming economy, local businesses are scrambling to fill positions that exist.

“If we don't have the talent that they need, they're gonna bring in that talent,” Adler said. “And we don't want people from around the rest of the country to come in and fill in the talent pipeline for us as much as we would like people who already live here to be able to do that.”

On the other side, some like Tesla have made an effort to recruit talent in the Austin metro. The automaker recently interviewed seniors at Bastrop Independent School District to train and attend classes at Austin Community College.

A form to express interest in the scholarship can be found on the Workforce Solutions site. People who might qualify include those who live in Austin or Travis County and are unemployed, work part-time, classify as low-income, or don’t have a high school diploma.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway