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Upskilling and Retooling: TWC Shares Strategies used to Help Workers and Businesses During the Pandemic at the Annual South by Southwest Education Conference

Date: February 25, 2021

Media Contact: James Bernsen
Phone: 512-463-8556


AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will participate in SXSW Edu (South by Southwest Education Conference) Online taking place virtually March 9-11, 2021. TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez will participate in a panel entitled “Getting back to work: Upskilling and Retooling,” which explores the challenges TWC faced and the strategies used to help workers upskill or reskill into new in demand jobs and help businesses retool to connect to new markets. Commissioner Alverez will be joined by other representatives from TWC.

“I am honored to be joining my colleagues Courtney Arbour and Desi Holmes in representing TWC on this panel to discuss what we have done during the pandemic to support and connect unemployed workers to in demand careers. We strongly believe the steps we’ve taken to rethink service delivery and training can be replicated by others across the country, and we’re eager to share these strategies,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I would like to thank South by Southwest Education for selecting our proposal and providing the perfect audience for TWC to promote methods that can help upskill and connect eager workers to jobs.”

In March 2020, Texas workers began applying for unemployment benefits as businesses closed due to the pandemic. After swiftly modifying processes and programs to adapt to the initial pandemic-related economic issues, TWC utilized strategic, out of the box thinking to respond to business and job seeker needs. The panel will discuss some of the strategies put in place during the pandemic that helped to sustain the Texas economy.

The Panel Discussion Will Include:

  1. Assessing the economic landscape for opportunities to tackle adversity head on and succeed!
  2. Reengaging workers and employers with flexible training options, virtual job fairs and refocused grants.
  3. Retooling Texas businesses to adapt to a new market economy.


SXSW Edu is an annual event which takes place in Austin, Texas. The virtual, the three-day event offers compelling sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, future-focused competitions, networking opportunities, and so much more. For more information about the event including ticketing visit the SXSW Edu website.



The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

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