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Texas-based job website Indeed has kicked off a $10 million program aimed at assisting Americans who are struggling to find work.

The Essentials to Work initiative will help job seekers in the U.S. gain access to technology and transportation, as well as access to services that clear criminal records.

Half of the money, or $5 million, is going toward a partnership with the nonprofit PCs for People to provide electronic devices, connect public housing properties to Wi-Fi, and set up mobile hot spots for 10,000 lower-income people. Organizations like Austin Free-Net and Refugee Services of Texas are distributing the electronic devices at no cost to recipients.

In addition, Indeed, which is based in Austin, has pledged $2.5 million to provide services for job seekers who have previous arrests or convictions that are eligible to be removed from their criminal records. The Texas Fair Defense Project is among the beneficiaries of this money.

Indeed also is chipping in $1.5 million for a Lyft program to provide free rides to people for job interviews, job training, and other work-related purposes.

The remaining $1 million is being earmarked for Goodwill’s ongoing efforts to help job seekers.

Indeed’s Essentials to Work program also will enable job seekers to create accounts, produce resumes, and complete interviews through the job website.

“Job seekers struggling economically need high-quality work options now, and Indeed can help — that’s what we do,” Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, senior director of global community impact at Indeed, says in a news release. “We know that there are a myriad of barriers that can make finding quality work difficult. While the barriers we are tackling here — access to the internet, transportation, and legal help for criminal record clearing — are only a few of them, they affect far too many people. We want to help.”

San Antonio Starbucks workers brew up plans to become first unionized location in Texas

Controversy is percolating

Workers at a Starbucks store in San Antonio want their workplace to become the first of the coffee shop chain’s Texas locations to join a labor union.

A letter posted February 7 on Twitter by the Starbucks Workers United union and bearing the names of nine employees laid out plans to unionize the store at Loop 410 and Vance Jackson Road in Northwest San Antonio. If the effort succeeds, the store would be the first in Texas — a largely union-unfriendly state — whose workers belong to a labor union.

“In order to provide the best care for our customers and fellow partners,” the letter says, “we stand in solidarity with stores across the country to unionize and stand up for our needs.”

The letter is addressed to Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson.

The company believes its stores shouldn’t unionize. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Starbucks says a union would harm the chain’s “direct relationship” with its employees and divide workers who often travel among stores to ease staffing shortages. However, Starbucks indicates it will respect the results of union votes and will bargain with workers at individual stores that approve unionizing.

Starbucks is feeling the heat after firing seven workers leading unionization efforts in Memphis, Tennessee. The company says it fired the employees for violating store security protocols, while the employees accuse Starbucks of retaliating against them, which Starbucks denies.

For their part, the nine San Antonio workers who signed the letter say their store already enjoys a union-like culture.

“We already act like a union. We want to take what we have already, put it on paper, legalize it, protect it, and expand our ability to advocate for our needs and for each other’s dignity,” the San Antonio employees wrote. “Unionizing gives us the power to speak up for ourselves, our peers, and our organization with a powerful collection of voices — all intent on improving the Starbucks experience for everyone.”

According to The Guardian newspaper, a Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York, recently became the first unionized company-owned location since the 1980s. Starbucks fought that effort. Now, employees at more than 50 Starbucks stores in the U.S. are seeking to unionize, allowing them to negotiate with the company as a group over pay and working conditions.

San Antonio business marches onto Fortune’s list of most admired companies in the world

Saluting a star

National business publication Fortune magazine is saluting one of San Antonio’s best-known employers.

Financial services provider USAA ranks 25th on Fortunes 2022 list of the world’s most admired companies. The ranking is based on the magazine’s poll of about 3,700 corporate executives, corporate directors, and business analysts.

USAA is the No. 1 Texas-based company on the list and the only San Antonio company in the ranking. USAA employs about 1,500 people in Alamo City.

The company does plenty to draw admiration. For instance, in October, USAA raised the minimum hourly pay for its employees from $16 to $21.

“USAA’s employees are the heart of our association, and providing a competitive pay and benefits package is one way we reward them for providing exceptional service to military members and their families,” Wayne Peacock, president and CEO of USAA, said in a news release announcing the pay raise. “Increasing our minimum pay and enhancing our already comprehensive benefits package helps ensure we’re being responsive to our employees’ needs and dynamically changing market conditions.”

Another example: USAA gives back to communities around the country. For instance, the company and its charitable foundation in 2020 committed $87 million to support pandemic relief, racial equity, and other pressing needs. Also in 2020, USAA made a three-year, $50 million commitment to helping close opportunity gaps in education, job training, employment, and income.

“Serving USAA members with exceptional service and commitment today, tomorrow, and long into our second century is a legacy we are determined and proud to carry forward,” Peacock says.

USAA is among 18 Texas-based companies appearing on Fortune’s new list of the world’s most admired companies. The others are:

  • Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, No. 28.
  • Westlake-based Charles Schwab, No. 47.
  • Dallas-based AECOM, No. 55.
  • Dallas-based AT&T, No. 77.
  • Dallas-based CBRE Group, No. 103.
  • Houston-based ConocoPhillips, No. 117.
  • Round Rock-based Dell Technologies, No. 125.
  • Houston-based EOG Resources, No. 140.
  • Spring-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise, No. 164.
  • Arlington-based D.R. Horton, No. 168.
  • Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group, No. 179.
  • Houston-based KBR, No. 186.
  • Irving-based McKesson, No. 214.
  • Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, No. 237.
  • Houston-based Quanta Services, No. 253.
  • Austin-based Tesla, No. 294.
  • Houston-based Waste Management, No. 318.

Esteemed San Antonio university graduates to higher level in higher education

Academic achievement

San Antonio’s Trinity University has given it the old college try, and it’s aced a new classification that could elevate the school’s reputation on a national level.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education has approved Trinity’s request to be reclassified as a baccalaureate arts and sciences institution. This will result in Trinity being shifted to the National Liberal Arts category in the closely watched U.S. News & World Report rankings, beginning with the fall 2022 report. Trinity says the new classification better reflects the university’s mission and sets it up for greater national recognition.

“Trinity has enjoyed an exceptional reputation for academic excellence, interdisciplinarity, and a commitment to the liberal arts for more than 150 years. We have earned a reputation as the premier liberal arts university in the Southwest,” Danny Anderson, president of Trinity, says in a news release.

“Now, we are positioned to become a highly ranked and nationally recognized institution. While this will require significant effort and stewardship over multiple years, ultimately this move helps us attract and retain outstanding students, faculty, and staff. Most important, the investments we will make to achieve such standing positively impact student success and provide greater value for our alumni.”

Founded in 1869 by Cumberland Presbyterians, Trinity has an enrollment of about 2,500. The school’s 43-acre campus is west of State Highway 281, between East Hildebrand Avenue and East Mulberry Avenue.

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San Antonio suburb among the richest places in Texas for 2023, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio suburb cashes in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Alamo Heights has been renamed the third richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

2. San Antonio home sales slowed in December 2022, report finds. San Antonio sold 36,477 homes all year, a 10 percent decrease from 2021.

3. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. Nina Simone, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and more music-centered events made our roundup of the best things to do in Alamo City this weekend.

4. San Antonio Home & Garden Show returns with HGTV star. Ati Williams will headline the San Antonio Spring Home & Garden Show, which takes place February 24-26.

5. H-E-B opens first location in growing San Antonio suburb. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,000 square feet of floor space, providing everything from cat food to charcuterie.

Popular Pearl brunch spot remixes with new weekend DJ nights


Though Full Goods Diner has barely been open for half a year, it has already become a San Antonio staple for working weekday lunches and lingering Sunday Fundays. Now the Pearl eatery is looking to be a hot spot after dark.

Via release, the popular local haunt just announced a new limited-time music series, Full Goods at Night. Starting on February 2, Full Goods Diner will open select evenings throughout the month.

The Full Goods at Night series will feature popular local San Antonio DJs, including El West Side Sound, Hector Gallego, DJ Plata, Steven Lee Moya, and Cami Gee. Guests can enjoy live sets while indulging in a specially curated food and drink offerings.

The menu will include some of Full Goods Diner's best—selling items, such as French toast sticks, barbacoa waffle fries, and jumbo cheesy tots. Libations like the Attaboy Negroni, Royal Bermuda Daiquiri, Pink G&T, and more will fuel the festivities.

In addition to enjoying moonlight brunch, guests can relish some prime people-watching. And, of course, the restaurant is just a hop from other nightlife destinations like Pink Hill, 3 Star Bar, and Summer Camp Bar, making it the perfect party starter.

The series runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from February 2-25, 6-10 pm. The complete DJ schedule is listed below.

February 2 — El West Side Sound·
February 3 — Hector Gallego
February 4— DJ Plata
February 9 — El West Side Sound
February 10 — Steven Lee Moya
February 11 — Cami Gee
February 16 — El West Side Sound
February 17 — Steven Lee Moya
February 18 — Hector Gallego
February 23 — El West Side Sound
February 24— Steven Lee Moya
February 25 — DJ Plata

4 San Antonio culinary pioneers win $21K from the Texas Food & Wine Alliance


Texas’ skyrocketing culinary scene is about to get a huge boost. The Texas Food & Wine Alliance’s grant program has awarded $107,500 to 19 culinary innovators around the state. This marks the Alliance’s 11th year providing funding to support culinary projects contributing to local communities.

The award winners were announced in a ceremony at Austin's Holdsworth Center on January 21. A private panel of distinguished culinary experts chose the winners out of 40 grant applications this year. Nine winners hail from Austin, three from Dallas-Fort Worth, three from Houston, and four from San Antonio. The awards range from $1,500 to $10,000, with a special $25,000 grant investment from Austin favorite Tito’s Handmade Vodka in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary. Grant funding will support chefs, farms, and culinary education groups, among others.

Out of the four San Antonio area winners, Talking Tree Farm received the most from the grant program, $6,250 to purchase shipping containers for storage and to buy a solar-powered cold room for their harvests. John Marshall High School’s culinary arts program will use their $5,000 grant to establish a morning café. Agricultural project Habitable Spaces and pasture-raised chicken farm Cielito Lindo Farm also won $5,000 each to purchase equipment or build infrastructure to further their endeavors in the culinary space.

Austin-area winners received the most funding from the grant program, totalling $53,750, while San Antonio winners received $21,250 in total. Dallas/Fort Worth winners were awarded $19,750, and the three Houston recipients won $12,750. All of the 2022 winners reflect just how diverse the state's trailblazing culinary scene continues to expand.

“All of this year’s funded projects will further enrich the state through innovation and giveback,” said Erika White, executive director of the Alliance. “We’re extremely grateful to each of the Texas communities, our sponsors and their support in allowing us to reward these mold-breaking projects.”

In Austin, organic farm Trosi Farms was awarded the most funding ($10,000), which will help construct a germination shed for more stable plant start production. Locavore pioneer Boggy Creek Farm won $7,500 in grants to provide ADA-compliant accessibility to their new climate-controlled Tomato House, while Texas’ first organic feed mill, Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm, received $6,250 to help purchase a building to be used as a store for the local community.

The six other Austin area grant recipients, each winning $5,000, include Vista Farms at Vista Brewing, Jamaican family business Tierra Todun ATX, coffee roasters Rising Tide Roast Collaborative, culinary educator Chef Pascal Simon from Bake Austin, East Austin food truck Community Vegan, and Latinx pastry project Comadre Panaderia (who also just earned a James Beard nomination). All winners will be able to use their grants to improve efficiency and expand their businesses, or in Chef Pascal's case, further research and development for her upcoming cookbook for Gen-Z young adults.

After starting the program in Austin, grant co-chair and TFWA past president Cathy Cochran-Lewis says it was the Alliance’s dream to expand the grant statewide.

“We’re so humbled and thrilled to now not only support worthwhile projects across Texas but also to give more than a half million dollars in funding over the last decade to help dreams come true,” she says. “This is a tribute to the culinary talent and the community mindset we are lucky to have in our state.”

The winners in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas include:

For this year's Honorable Mention, the Alliance chose San Antonio eatery Tacos Cucuy, who will soon open a brick-and-mortar space with an expanded menu. Tacos Cucuy are currently looking for support to develop a Tex-Mex charcuterie program called La Cura Carnes Especiales.

More information about the 2022 grants and its recipients can be found on texasfoodandwinealliance.org.