Published: 09/18/2013, Expressnews.com (original article may be viewed at http://bit.ly/1brpC0a)
By David Hendricks
The lunch topic Tuesday was the future of jobs in San Antonio.
Panelists presented a positive picture for the 40 or so members of the Texas Young Professionals' San Antonio chapter who gathered at the Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden at the Pearl.
Any city has the best chance to develop wealth and boost its living standards when young, educated workers can find jobs they want and will stick with. So it was interesting to listen to what young professionals were being told about San Antonio.
The Eagle Ford Shale was mentioned more than anything else. Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute for Economic Development, articulated what is becoming obvious: that jobs are multiplying in San Antonio from the Eagle Ford that are unrelated to roughnecking and truck driving in the oil and gas play.
The drilling companies are establishing their support offices in San Antonio because the smaller cities in South Texas do not have the professional workforces to staff them. The energy companies need accountants, lawyers and other professional services, Tunstall pointed out. Not everyone needs to be a petroleum engineer to find Eagle Ford work, in other words.
A reminder comes Wednesday, when Houston-based Halliburton formally opens its San Antonio Operations Center on South Loop 1604 East.
Jobs will continue to crop up in the target industries identified by the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Tunstall added. Those include health care, information technology, aerospace, finance, logistics, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation equipment.
Employers are eager to hire young workers with “soft skills,” those that go along with communicating with other people to solve problems, said Maureen Wilson, UTSA's assistant director for employer relations. Computer skills, especially those that go with analyzing large volumes of data, also are in strong demand, Wilson said.
The best college degrees for the job market include finance, information technology, network security, business administration, engineering, economics and marketing, Wilson said.
The panelists offered advanced advice not usually heard on finding jobs.
Barbara Greene, Greene & Associates Inc. founder and CEO, urged job-seekers to be creative. Greene cited an example of Southwest Airlines executives receiving a resumé pasted to a Wild Turkey bottle, an allusion to airline founder Herb Kelleher's fondness for the brand.
“But that approach wouldn't work at USAA or Valero,” Greene warned. Her point was that job-seekers have better chances when they show they have researched and understand the company's objectives and culture.
Greene stressed that San Antonio is a small-business economy. Small businesses highly prize workers with multiple skills, she said.
If young professionals already have a job but are looking for a better one, they should be careful with their use of the Internet in the search, such as with LinkedIn or Monster.com. “Everything is public,” Wilson said.
Many job opportunities will remain hidden, Greene said. The way to find them is to network. That means community volunteering as much as it does self-promotion on social media, she said.
The underlying message was that San Antonio is a good place for young professionals.
“It's a boom,” Wilson said.