2020 Census


2020 Census count is coming up soon. This data is so important as it determines voting districts, federal funding for schools, infrastructure, social services and every person living in the US (all status, even foreign nationals temporarily working here) is required by law to complete the Census. The less federal funding we receive, the more taxes we will have to raise locally. A lot is at stake in the 2020 Census, and our communities can’t afford an under count. Essential neighborhood resources like street improvements, school lunches for children in need, and housing for seniors and families will all be gained or lost because of the 2020 Census.

We only get one chance every 10 years to count all of our residents. With so many new people moving in and others being forced to move to new parts of town, no Census has ever been more important for Austin and Travis County. This Census count will also help local elected officials inform important decisions and determine federal funding allocations for the next decade.

Important Dates

  • Mar 12-20 Invitations to complete census online mailed
  • Mar 16-24 Reminder letters mailed
  • Mar 26-Apr 3 Reminder postcard mailed
  • Apr 1 Census Day: the count is of how many people there are on this day
  • Apr 8-16 Hard copy of questionnaire if you haven’t responded, mailed
  • Apr 20-27 Final postcards mailed
  • In person follow ups will begin

We are counting on you to help spread the word about the Census too! Click Austin Travis County census website for more information.

Skilled worker

Skills for Small Business for Employers


Through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Skills for Small Business program, up to $2 million from the Skills Development Fund is dedicated to the backbone of Texas’ business community—our small employers. Small businesses can apply to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). TWC processes the applications and works with the college to fund the specific courses selected by businesses for their employees.

This exceptional opportunity supports businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and emphasizes training for new workers though it also may help upgrade the skills of incumbent workers.

  • Skills for Small Business emphasizes training newly hired employees, those who have been hired by the business up to twelve months prior to the date that TWC receives an application.
  • The program pays up to $1,800 for each new employee being trained and $900 for existing employees per 12-month period.
  • Funding for training is for full-time employees.
  • All training must be provided by a public community or technical college, or the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). No third-party vendor training is allowed.
  • Training must be selected from active course catalogs/schedules— credit, continuing education, online or other available unpublished courses.
  • Employers must pay the prevailing wages in the local labor market for the trainees funded under the grant.

How to Apply

  • Identify new or incumbent employees to be trained.
  • Identify each employee’s job/occupational title and corresponding Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code. Employers may use the Texas AutoCoder to find the best match between job titles/descriptions and SOC-coded occupations.
  • Identify employee’s wages. Wages must meet or exceed prevailing wage for the area where the business is located.
  • Identify the two-year public community or technical college nearest your location using the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s College Locator.
  • Apply online in the upper right hand corner or complete and submit the application directly to TWC, by email: [email protected] or fax: 512-463-7187.
  • View the Skills for Small Business FAQ for additional information on completing and submitting applications to TWC .

For assistance, contact TWC’s Workforce Business Services staff at 877-463-1777 or [email protected]

For more information click HERE.

Romeo Manzanilla

Meet Romeo Manzanilla, Austin Board of Realtors President and retired U.S. Navy Officer


 Romeo Manzanilla grew up in Los Angeles, California enjoying all of the area’s attractions, events, and fast-paced lifestyle. But after a successful military career as a U.S. Navy Officer, Romeo decided to call Austin home because of its booming economy, scenic beauty and quality of life. While working as an Operations Manager for Dell Computer Corporation, he became involved with Habitat for Humanity, donating his time in assisting with the construction of low-income family housing and working alongside others who freely gave of themselves to improve the lives of those around them. It was this positive experience of giving back to the community that would later mold his decision to become a real estate professional.

Romeo’s unique life experiences while serving in the military and working in both private and corporate organizations have made him a well-rounded person that easily connects with his clients on different levels. His focus on family life with his wife and son has helped him gain a deeper appreciation of spending quality time at home.

Romeo has been an active member of the Austin Board of Realtors since 2006 and has served as a Director for ABoR from 2015-2017 and is the current ABoR President. On the state level, Romeo is a Professional Standards member and Mediator for the Texas Association of Realtors.

Romeo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University.When not working or volunteering, Romeo admits he’s a motor sports enthusiast and actively participates in organized track events in the Central Texas area.

Nanny Goat Salsa

Locally made Nanny Goat Salsa


After suddenly being laid off from her job of 8 years; LaRicher Parks had a lot of time on her hands. She was looking for ways to keep busy and seriously one could only scrub the tub, floors and toilet so many times. So she decided to refocus her energy  on cooking. She remembered baking a zillion loaves of friendship bread, cookies, cakes, casseroles- you name it. 

She got bored with baking and decided to try her hand at making salsa. After several batches she finally had something worth sharing with family and friends. Her family was eating it faster than she could make the salsa. 

 10 years later, she convinced her husband, who never takes anything to the company potluck, to take a couple of jars of salsa with him to work. After the potluck he called to let me know everyone loved the salsa and several folks offered to pay for more. That evening he came home with a few of orders from his coworkers. Soon after she had a chance to serve the salsa at a local ribbon cutting. After receiving positive feedback from the community they decided to give the salsa business a serious consideration.  Along the way one of LaRicher’s sisters unexpectedly passed away, so in honor of her they named the salsa after her, well her childhood nickname.- Nanny Goat.

The salsa can be purchased in the following flavors original, cilantro lime, or chunky. The salsa can either be ordered online HERE or at local events North East of Austin like the Elgin Farmers Market and Sip Shop and Stroll.

Externship Opportunity for Small Businesses


In June, Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WSCA) will connect 100 teachers and counselors from AISD, Del Valle, Elgin, Manor and Pflugerville ISDs with three-day externships.

During the externship, an employer provides a teacher or counselor with the invaluable opportunity to observe and speak to employees, including management, about the skills, certifications and career pathways within the employer host’s organization. After completing their externships, the teachers must create lesson plans based on their experiences, which they can then use in the classroom. Here is a short video that WSCA created, which highlights some of the companies and teachers who participated last summer.

Are you an employer interested in participating? Please register here. For small businesses with less than 150 employees, WSCA is able to offer $500 stipends to businesses hosting teacher externs, as a token of appreciation for the time they are dedicating to the teacher externship. Please note that this year, they are placing a particular focus on Health Care, Information Technology, and Skilled Trades/Manufacturing industries.

This unique professional development opportunity connects the classroom to the workplace. In summer 2019, WSCA placed 48 teachers from 3 area school districts in externships with 24 employers in various industries.

Help our teachers be more effective in educating our future workforce!

Sales meeting

Sales Meetings – it matters where you sit


By LeAnn Pashina, founder of Creatively Communicate, Inc .

Believe it or not, where you and your prospective client sits at a table during your presentation will play a factor in the conversational flow, success in closing the sale, and the energy in the room. Understanding this will enable you to set up every meeting for success before you speak your first word.

Every sale happens between two or more individuals , and any time people are part of an equation, it can create some interesting dynamics. Sales are difficult enough as a profession; if you can increase your rapport and closing ratio with your client simply by selecting the right place to sit, then why wouldn’t you?

Research shows that more sales are closed when the salesperson sits to the left of their potential client than to the right. I am not saying that if you sit in the left-hand seat, you will close every sale; there are too many aspects that lead to a sale for that to be true. You still need to deliver a good presentation, although I am suggesting that by simply understanding the seating strategy, you can increase the percentage of your successful closes.

Keep in mind that I am not talking about manipulation in your sales presentation. What we’re discussing is basic human nature and information you can use to have your meetings and presentations proceed with more success.

Whenever possible, you will want to be the one deciding where each person sits, instead of leaving it to chance. Choosing who sits where is not always possible, but you can still make some minor changes or modifications to benefit you during your presentation. There are various positions to consider, in this article, we will cover where to sit when you are at a conference table.

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The corner position seating arrangement creates a casual, friendly environment for conversation. It has an advantage over having a confrontational “face to face” setting, which is perceived as too direct and aggressive – not the most welcoming qualities to display when you are meeting someone new or presenting to a prospective client.

Corner positioning allows for good eye contact and the opportunity to use numerous hand gestures and body language expressions as well as a vantage point to observe the gestures of the other person. The corner of the table or desk is a partial barrier for each person, which is important because it will provide some security if one person begins to feel threatened for any reason, and at the same time avoids territorial division of the table or desk.

The corner position is the most successful strategic position from which you, the salesperson in position B, can deliver a presentation to your prospective prospect in seat A. By simply occupying the chair in location B shown in the above diagram; you can prevent a tense atmosphere and increase the chances of a positive outcome.

The other significant thing to keep in mind with the corner seating arrangement is to sit to the left of your prospective client whenever possible, especially if you’ll be giving a presentation. Research shows that more sales are closed when sitting to the left of your client. It is because you are speaking more into the right brain hemisphere of your client, which is the emotional side, and where we all make most of our decisions. (We make decisions based on emotions and then justify them logically.)

Knowing and understanding this information will allow you to apply it to your next sales meeting easily and enjoy even more success.

Need more detail about sitting positions?  Grab a copy of our book “Sit Your Way to Success” to learn how you can apply even more strategies.  www.sityourwaytosuccess.com

co lab North Austin

CO.LAB Community Makers to celebrate one year of empowering creators


CO.LAB Community Makes provides a creative space by the community for the community. The donation-based and volunteer-driven studio has provided community makers that visit this North Austin location with ongoing training & support, materials, and space for almost a year now. 

The Makerspace offers a wide selection of tools and the training required to work with them safely, from laser cutting to  CNC milling to sewing and screen printing. ​​ The organization operates on a volunteer-driven schedule. Hours has continued to evolve as more volunteers are available. Anyone interested should check the calendar on the web site for the most current schedule.

The Co-working Space is a comfortable common workspace, ideally suited for sharing ideas, equipment, and expertise. Many groups also use co.lab to host a class, teach a workshop, hold an event, or arrange a meet up.

Creatives should consult with one of CO.LAB Community Makers experts to help bring ideas to life with their fabrication equipment. ​ Equipment includes 3D printers, laser cutter, and a vinyl cutter.

SAVE THE DATE–March 28th–CO.LAB birthday celebration & community day . For more details follow them on Facebook or stay tuned to their web site. http://www.colabcommunitymakers.org/

Transportation for people with disabilities


Transportation is an extremely important issue for those with disabilities in the rural areas or in the inner city. People with disabilities have consistently described how transportation barriers affect their lives in important ways. United States Disability Chamber of Commerce aims to develop and implement a transportation plan that addresses these concerns of people with disabilities.

Over the last two decades the National Organization on Disability (NOD) has sponsored three successive Harris polls with people with disabilities, and respondents in each survey have reported that transportation issues are a crucial concern. In the last survey, undertaken in 2004, just under a third of those with disabilities reported that inadequate transportation was a problem for them; of those individuals, over half said it was a major problem. The more severe the disability of the respondent was, the more serious were the reported transportation problems (National Organization on Disability-Harris Interactive, 2004). Donations will assist in developing policies and implementing a plan to address this issue. United States Disability Chamber of Commerce’s plan will create new transportation ideas or leverage existing ones to fulfill the needs of people with disabilities.

For more information on how to help people of disabilities in our area, visit https://disabilitychamberofcommerce.org/

Tax office foundation communities

Foundation Communities helps during Tax Season


Tax season is officially underway, and Foundation Communities has 7 tax sites throughout Austin and Round Rock through April 15. All of their tax preparation services are FREE and available to anyone who makes less than $55,000/year. Please help them spread the word! Drop off is available at all 7 sites for anyone who wants to drop off their tax documents and pick up their completed return the following week. When coming in for tax prep, all tax clients would need to bring photo IDs for primary taxpayer and spouse, SSN/ITIN for everyone on the return, and all 2019 tax documents.

More information is available on their flyers. Click to view HERE.

If you are interested in volunteering at the enter, click to view HERE.

At the Prosper Centers, our mission is to build pathways to financial wellness, higher education and health coverage so that those who face barriers have opportunities to prosper.

The Best New Year’s Purpose


By Jorge Ramos, Director of Prinso Health Center

If you are little or very overweight, your New Year’s Purpose is not to Lose Weight, but to solve the underlying problem of Overweight, that is, RESOLVE THE CAUSE OF OVERWEIGHT or what causes your body to gradually accumulate fat.

Certainly the cause is not the same as the consequence. Currently in society there is great confusion regarding being Overweight, although it is considered a public health problem, given the high frequency with which it occurs both in developed and underdeveloped countries.

This confusion affects even health professionals such as family doctors, internists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, bariatrists, nutritionists, psychologists, etc. and of course to the community in general.

When individuals start taking the overweight problem seriously, they consider it a problem and there is the problem, there is the confusion.

Everyone may think that being overweight is a problem: eating, poor eating habits, compulsion, stress, hormonal, emotional, carbohydrate addiction, lack of exercise, indulgence or neglect, etc. etc. etc. And it is not like that.
Overweight is not a problem; Overweight is the Consequence of a Problem.

The real problem that causes a person (eat what they eat, with or without stress, exercise or not exercise), accumulate fat progressively in the body, is always: a production greater than the corresponding amount of insulin by the pancreas. And that is the true cause of being Overweight. And this increased production of insulin in the body, is called Hyperinsulinemia and most of the time, although not always, it is accompanied by insulin resistance that predisposes to develop Diabetes.

Although it is difficult to believe and difficult to accept; In all cases and in all people with extra weight, The Cause of Overweight is Hyperinsulinemia.

The word Hyperinsulinemia (Hyper-insulin-emia) is composed of HYPER which means high, much or more. INSULIN or Insulin which is the main hormone produced by the pancreas in all people and EMIA or Hemia which means in the blood.
If you are overweight, you should read articles from serious and reliable sources on the Internet about Hyperinsulinemia and Insulin Resistance.

Thus, being overweight is never a problem, it is always a symptom; a symptom of hyperinsulinemia.
A symptom is never a problem, on the contrary, it is a blessing, because it is a sign, a warning, an indicator, a messenger, a warning that there is a Problem.

So the best Health Purpose for someone who is Overweight, whether it is a little or a lot, is: Solve the Background Problem of Overweight and not focus on the symptom, not aiming to lose weight, as this will come as a result of solving the problem. cause or resolve Hyperinsulinemia.
And if that is your purpose; Prinso® Health Center is on your side.

PRINSO® means: INsulin Regulation Program in the Overweight and is 100% specific, 100% natural and 100% effective.

The Prinso® Program, which is unique and exclusive to solve the underlying problem of overweight, is based on a specific, healthy, natural, complete, varied and always more than enough diet and is supported by an essential Natural Support that can be Acutens (Local Natural Support in Austin and San Antonio TX) or Prinso ® Capsules (Remote Natural Support with shipping to any city) which, due to its promoter effect of regulating the function of the pancreas, helps you resolve Hyperinsulinemia.

With the wonderful advantage that the results begin to be noticed from the first week.

And when the Prinso® Program is properly finished, you will no longer be overweight and there are precise indications, so that without the need for the Prinso® Natural Support and always being well nourished, avoid developing Hyperinsulinemia or Overweight again.

Here you can BOOK an APPOINTMENT online.
Request an appointment by phone call North Austin TX at 512 450 5150 and San Antonio TX at 210 547 8500.

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