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May 27, 2016

District News

Alamo Colleges Honored with 2016 TAPE Recognition

The Alamo Colleges' District Support Operations (DSO) is the recipient of the 2016 Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) from the Quality Texas Foundation, which recognizes organizational effectiveness and sustainability. The honor singles out the Alamo Colleges as a state role model for achieving sustained performance excellence. The Alamo Colleges’ DSO comprises 53 departments who serve the five Alamo Colleges. To compete for the TAPE, the 53 teams worked to identify key processes, understand the requirements of their customers and collect and analyze data to improve their processes. 

"This award is the successful culmination of a nine-year journey,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. “It reflects the dedication of all our DSO and college teams and the strong leadership of our Board of Trustees, and I congratulate and thank everyone who is making this journey possible for our employees, students and community,” he added. “This award informs our stakeholders in a very clear and meaningful way that we are worth investing in, that we are worthy of their trust in our effective and efficient use of their tax monies and tuition and are the best place to obtain a college education.”

TAPE recipients are selected based on  performance excellence criteria used at the national level for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which awards the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. Criteria include seven main categories: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. The Quality Texas Foundation recognizes groups committed to the journey of excellence through the TAPE program with four levels—Engagement, Commitment, Progress and Award—to create stronger communities of excellence.


Alamo Colleges' Bond Rating Upgraded to "AAA" by S&P

Recently the Alamo Colleges achieved yet another financial distinction. For the first time, both Moody’s and S&P have rated Alamo Colleges outstanding general obligation debt “AAA”. This is the highest rating possible and ensures Alamo Colleges’ bonds have the lowest possible interest rates, saving Bexar County taxpayers’ money in interest expense over the life of the bonds. 

“This is a significant accomplishment for the Alamo Colleges, and it is very likely that there are few higher education Institutions, especially in today’s environment, that have been awarded the top rating by both these agencies,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. “These ratings affirm the fiscal strength and stable financial management of the Alamo Colleges,” he added. 

S&P upgraded their bond rating for Alamo Colleges from AA+ to AAA.  S&P cited the deep and diverse economic base in Bexar County, a strong financial position with a diverse revenue stream and substantial operating flexibility, given that the combined tax rate is well below the voter-approved district maximum. S&P also revised its Financial Management Assessment (FMA) from “good” to “strong”, indicating that the Alamo Colleges’ financial practices are strong, well embedded and sustainable. 

Moody’s re-affirmed their Aaa bond rating for Alamo Colleges and cited credit strengths such as the sizeable and growing tax base in the robust San Antonio metropolitan area, considerable financial flexibility under the voter-approved tax cap and a history of stable financial performance.



Alamo Colleges Nets $15 Million Federal Grant

The Alamo Colleges has been awarded a $15 million, five-year Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance to train 800 low-income participants for in-demand healthcare jobs. This is the largest workforce grant ever awarded to the Alamo Colleges, which is one of only five awardees to receive the maximum HPOG grant amount. 

Eligible workers will receive training in these program areas: LVN, certified nurse’s aide, patient care technician, medical assistant, phlebotomist, pharmacy technician and medical front office worker. Training will be provided at the Alamo Colleges’ Westside Education and Training Center, the Alamo University Center and at locations in the federally designated Promise Zone. 

To provide this training, the Alamo Colleges is partnering with the San Antonio Housing Authority, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, Project QUEST, Workforce Solutions Alamo, Family Service Association and a network of more than 30 employers, including Christus Santa Rosa Health System, Methodist Healthcare, Southwest General Hospital, University Health System and Franklin Park Senior Living. 

Participants will benefit from Alamo Colleges’ nationally recognized models for providing essential skills training, career exploration, accelerated vocational and job specific training, relevant work readiness training, and basic skills attainment (as needed). All target occupations provide entry points into Health Professions Career Pathways and lead to high-levels of employability upon training completion. In addition, students will be exposed to a variety of expanded experiences and real-life applications of skills they are learning during externship/clinical rotation experiences. Participants will also have access to support services, including integrated case management, affordable housing, incentives, childcare, transportation assistance and possible emergency assistance for utilities and rent.

Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the HPOG program provides education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. This is the second HPOG award the Alamo Colleges has received. In 2010, the organization received $6 million, also awarded over a five-year period, which provided health occupation training to more than 450 participants, with an 80% completion rate and 380 participants employed in healthcare jobs.

To find out if they qualify for this program, those interested can call 210-485-0251 or 210-486-5555. 


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