The City of San Antonio’s Ready to Work program has been honored as the recipient of the fifth annual Sharman Stein Award for Storytelling Changemakers, presented by Results for America. This award celebrates Ready to Work’s exceptional communication practices and the city’s commitment to effective public engagement while paying tribute to the late Sharman Stein, the pioneering Director of Communications at What Works Cities.
Introduced in 2022, the Ready to Work initiative has rapidly become a cornerstone of San Antonio’s efforts to empower adults seeking to overcome financial, social, and emotional obstacles to higher education and career advancement. The program addresses multifaceted barriers to success by providing access to tuition aid, comprehensive support services, emergency assistance and job placement support.
“We are thrilled to get national recognition for Ready to Work’s targeted outreach to meet people where they are and to take them to the next level,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Ready to Work is a transformative program that’s changing the lives of people in our city.”
“What sets Ready to Work’s communications strategy apart is that it starts with residents and their needs—whether that’s a local business owner, community leader or someone taking the next step in their education or career,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-founder of Results for America. “It’s a collaboration that would have made Sharman proud.” The award comes on the heels of creating an entirely new city department – Workforce Development – to manage and operate the Ready to Work program. San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh brought Mike Ramsey on board after a national search and credits the communications and storytelling capabilities to Ramsey and the department as a whole.
“This office has been laser-focused on telling the stories of the people involved in Ready to Work,” Walsh said. “That includes San Antonians who seek training and education to gain quality jobs, the employers who have pledged to hire Ready to Work graduates, as well as the partner organizations from career counselors and case managers to community members who support this program. We stand committed to working and collaborating with them as the program moves forward. We are proud of where we’ve been and where we’re headed.”
The annual award is given by Results for America (RFA). RFA’s mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal” so that government decision-makers use evidence and data to maximize their impact and increase economic mobility. The City of San Antonio participates in RFA’s Opportunity Accelerator and has achieved Gold Certification by What Works Cities.
The City of San Antonio’s Ready to Work team’s receipt of the Sharman Stein Award stands as a testament to its dedication to effective communication, collaboration, and community development. As the program continues to flourish, its dedication to education, training and career transformation will continue to shape the lives of San Antonio residents and our community for years to come.
If you would like to learn how Ready to Work can help shape your future call 311 or visit ReadyToWorkSA.com.
Photo Caption: Mike Ramsey, Executive Director of Workforce Development for the City of San Antonio.