SA Works Selects Romanita Matta-Barrera as Executive Director

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July 21, 2016
The SA Works Board of Directors today announced the selection of Romanita Matta-Barrera as the program’s executive director. Matta-Barrera has over fifteen years of experience in education, workforce development, policy analysis, and multicultural marketing and communications. 
“After an extensive vetting process, we are confident in our selection of Romanita Matta-Barrera. Her depth of experience and strong drive will help us achieve the mission of SA Works and close the gap between the needs of industry and workforce development,” said Peter J. Holt, Chairman of SA Works. "Romanita will provide the leadership necessary for our community to align resources and realize its full potential for economic prosperity."
In March of 2016, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor announced that SA Works would transition under the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) to integrate San Antonio and Bexar County’s economic and workforce development programs. The Executive Director of SA Works will be an employee of the SAEDF and work under the direction of the SA Works Board of Directors. 
“The single most important factor influencing a company’s decision to expand or locate into a new market is the availability of a skilled workforce,” said SAEDF Chairman Wayne Peacock. “Romanita has demonstrated the leadership skills that will help us strategically grow our workforce and in turn grow our local economy.”
“Economic and workforce development are by nature intertwined,” said Kate Rogers, SA Works Board Member and H-E-B spokesperson. “Romanita’s leadership will be a key factor in elevating San Antonio’s economic competitiveness through the alignment of SA Works and SAEDF.”
As the Executive Director of SA Works, Matta-Barrera will lead the efforts to align education, workforce and economic development in meeting the talent needs of San Antonio’s current and future employers. Most recently, Matta-Barrera served as the lead consultant for SA Works and coordinated the first city-wide job shadow program in 10 years, recruiting nearly 60 employers and 14 school districts across Bexar County to participate. The target goal of enrolling 1,000 students in the program was surpassed by nearly 700 students.
“I am honored to be given this opportunity to help our future workforce discover their path to success, said SA Works Executive Director Romanita Matta-Barrera. “SA Works provides the ideal catalyst for collaboration between industry and key stakeholders on a level that will truly create limitless opportunity for all involved.”
Matta-Barrera has owned her consultancy, Fluent Strategy Group, since 2009.  She previously served as Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, Director of Hispanic Outreach and Communications at the U.S. Department of Education and Texas Media Director for U.S. Senator John Cornyn. She currently serves as Commissioner for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Board Secretary for the Family Services Association of San Antonio, Inc., and is a member of Leadership San Antonio 39. Matta-Barrera holds Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. 
About SA Works 
SA Works is a coalition of industry and government leaders charged with engaging, focusing and nurturing collaborations among educators, community-based organizations and employers. Using a collective impact model to improve and grow the availability of a skilled workforce that will encourage the expansion of local companies and attract new industries to San Antonio, SA Works engages key partners such as industry leaders, independent school districts, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations that have each assisted in providing internships, job shadowing opportunities and other work-based learning opportunities for high school and college students and educators. The foundation of SA Works was made possible by a $1.4 million grant from Charles Butt and H-E-B. Incubated by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Alamo Colleges, SA Works has propelled our community to push the boundaries of collaboration in order to successfully begin to transform San Antonio’s workforce development strategy into a national model.
About the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation
The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation is a private, non-profit organization responsible for attracting new business and industry to San Antonio. The organization is responsible for the recruitment of over 450 companies that collectively employ more than 110,000 San Antonians. For more information on SAEDF, visit, or follow us on Twitter @SanAntonioEDF.
John Ellis
(210) 802-4896