South Texas Educational Attainment Study to Increase Workforce Development Opportunities
In 2017, the South Texas Development Council joined EDA’s VISTA Corps program and selected VISTA Member Angela Bonner to address educational attainment and workforce development capacity needs for South Texas. Bonner was assigned to meet and work with community members to identify community needs through data collection and by assisting in the development of a comprehensive plan outlining resources to support local workforce development efforts.
Throughout her service year, Bonner has gathered quantitative and qualitative data to gain better insights on the community. She developed and conducted surveys with community members to identify social and economic barriers prohibiting educational attainment. She has also conducted a number of interviews with educational institutions, local business, city officials, and community stakeholders. Feedback has ranged across educational attainment factors including community members who seek additional pregnancy awareness programs, afternoon childcare, conveniently located GED/HSE testing sites, and additional job opportunities in the area.
The anticipated outcome from Bonner’s information collection efforts will be a comprehensive report outlining strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the region, as well as potential obstacles residents face in deciding to leave school prior to high school graduation. The report will also include community assets and free educational services available to address and support a community action plan.
A Bessemer, Alabama native, Angela Bonner, has been serving as an Economic Development VISTA with South Texas Development Council (STDC) since November 2017. Prior to joining AmeriCorps, Angela worked in the banking industry where she aided countless families through extensive financial analysis, education, and guidance. In her role as a financial counselor, Angela discovered a strong passion to serve others and desired to do more. Bonner received a Bachelor’s of Science in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa and currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Incarnate Word.