The end of the space shuttle era meant a large number of space shuttle workers required assistance in finding new jobs. The Aerospace Transition Center (ATC) was created in May 2010 with Veronica Reyes as its Human Resources (HR) Manager. Although it is part of Workforce Solutions, which exists throughout Texas for unemployed workers, the ATC is specifically designed to assist the highly skilled workers from the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston. It is a unique and well-designed venue where classes and the job search environment along with compassionate counselors provide some stability during the distress of unemployment. Reyes has the skill and team to serve their constituents as they transition into new and unfamiliar careers.
Her experience with other industries such as energy and Healthcare has given her an understanding of the career needs and skills of engineers. She spent 12 years as a Coordinator at MPS Engineering. During that time she also earned her Associate’s degree in Social Science and Humanities at Lee College. She soon acquired the position of Program Assistant at the corporate office of Workforce Solutions, where she learned the basic operations of office management, data collection and documentation. She coordinated program activities, meetings, and reports for the staff.
Within a few months she had the skills to be a job Recruiter in Workforce Solutions in Baytown, Texas, which she held for over 2 years. She learned the real challenge of locating companies to match worker needs. Her responsibilities included regional training and locating companies in marketing potential jobs. She was also the liaison between industry and their monthly training classes. She also worked with the Hispanic Outreach committee which focused on company relationships with the community to increase suitable job opportunities. She also partnered with the Harris County Department of Education and Private Career Institute in class development. A paragraph does not truly describe the numerous accomplishments by Reyes in assisting people find jobs in such a short time period. It is another example of how Reyes maximizes her time and energy in every job she undertakes.
Reyes remained with Workforce Solutions in Pasadena for another 2 years as a Business Consultant for the Southeast Region. She helped job seekers find new employment as well as creating new jobs in the marketplace. She educated herself on job growth statistics, local wage rates, and unemployment rates.
Reyes uses every bit of her 17 years of HR experience. She is the manager of the Aerospace Manager for the Employer Service Division of Workforce Solutions. For 3 years at the Aerospace Transition Center she and her recruitment team in Clear Lake near NASA-JSC, locate speakers to hold workshops on personal branding and repackaging their aerospace experiences into skills familiar to oil and gas companies. Transitioning can be very challenging since there is a significant difference between the space and other industries such as oil and gas. Retraining may be required but there are also schools offering training, which the ATC may also assist in by providing funding. A Financial Aid Personal Services Representative is available to answer questions about unemployment insurance, extensions, and locating grants for certifications required in some jobs.
There have been waves of layoffs since the opening of the Aerospace Transition Center, not all from the space industry. Reyes ensures that new opportunities and techniques for the job search and transition are made available to her team. Their skills need to remain fresh for the maximum benefit to its aerospace clientele. All employment seekers entering the doors of the ATC receive the latest tools for expeditious reemployment in fields outside of the space industry. Although the ATC is scheduled to close in June, the funding will continue throughout the summer. This will allow the staff to be available electronically after they relocate to another Workforce Solutions office. Veronica Reyes is well-equipped to make the most of the time left in helping her community back into good jobs.