January 2015

It’s Tax Time. Get Your Refund.

Academy students from the Ron E. Smith Academy of Business and Finance at University High School will be preparing taxes for free at Workforce Solutions.

During the past nine years, academy students have prepared more than 12,800 electronic tax returns, securing citizens more than $19 million in refunds.

The service has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as the largest student run VITA Program in the country.

Free Tax Preparation is offered from 10 am to 2 pm at Workforce Solutions during the following days and locations:



January 28th

1416 S. New Road in Waco

February 11th

230 Coleman Street in Marlin

February 18th

517 Main in Teague

March 4th

233 E. Elm Street in Hillsboro


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Workforce Solutions hosts Annual Awards of Excellence

Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas will hosts its Annual Awards of Excellence on January 15, 2015 in Waco.

The awards banquet recognizes and honors exceptional businesses and individuals who support economic growth in the Heart of Texas region.

To register and for more information, click on the invitation.

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Assessing Children’s Learning in Child Care

Soledad Najera, Preschool Teacher at Waco Child Development Center

Assessment is a central component of a quality early childhood program and one that has proved challenging for providers. This is changing thanks to a grant from TWC. Kaplan Early Learning Company is a grantee for an 18-month assessment project in the Heart of Texas and elsewhere in the state. In December, Child Care Services hosted two days of training for 35 child care providers who will be implementing child assessments into their programs. 

The assessment helps to organize daily observations of social, emotional, skill development, and behavior of children aged 0-6, including children with disabilities. Kaplan trainers showed teachers how to use the assessment tool to support learning and how to use the data to improve teaching strategies. Participants received assessment tools as well as print and online resources to take back to their classrooms. 

After completing the training, Soledad Najera, a preschool teacher for Waco Child Development Center said, “Assessments help me, as a teacher, plan according to each child’s strengths and needs.”

These 35 providers have received curriculum and classroom materials and participated in training and scholarship programs offered through CCS. Tamera Carter, CCS Manager, explains “The opportunity to implement assessments into child care takes us another step closer to aligning the early education children are receiving with Head Start and PreK.”

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Linking People to Jobs – How Transit Works

Rita Wilson, Dietician

Ever wonder how transit works and how LINK is linking people to jobs? Read Rita Wilson’s interview as she discusses her experience with LINK.

When did you start riding the Marlin LINK?
I started riding the Marlin LINK in June 2014. I just started working in Marlin at Falls Hospital. My boss actually told me about it and said that the bus stops right in front of the hospital. I didn’t think much of it and would drive to work. After a while, I decided to try out the bus and I’ve been using it ever since.

What was your experience riding LINK like?  
My experience with LINK has been very positive. The buses are always clean and well-maintained. One of the things I like to do is look at who else is riding the bus. There’s a group of MCC students that I see almost every day. They take the bus to get to school which I think great. I also have my own bus buddy who I talk to and get coffee with once in a while. Overall, the bus really saves me time and money.

What would tell others about the Marlin LINK?
Public transportation is a great way to get around. For me, it’s an 80 mile drive to and from work so driving wasn’t really an option. For less than the cost of a gallon of gas, I can relax on the bus and get to work on time. I’m becoming an advocate for the bus and I’ve been telling my co-workers and posting on Facebook so friends and family can see how great the bus is!

A record breaking 27,745 passenger trips were provided in 2014. The Marlin LINK connects Riesel, Marlin, Chilton, Golinda, and Robinson to all nine of Waco Transit’s bus routes at no extra charge. Visit myLINKtransit.com or call (254) 750-1613 for more information. Workforce Solutions and 13 other local partners provide 50% of the funding for this project. The other 50% comes from a Job Access and Reverse Commute grant through TXDOT.

Learn more about LINK at http://www.mylinktransit.com/.

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Workforce Solutions to be closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Workforce Solutions will be closed on January 19, 2015 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Be sure to keep up with the latest hiring events and job openings listed on our Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas’ calendar at http://www.hotworkforce.com/calendar/index.html

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