Baylor professor enjoying Waco & giving to future generations

In honor of Black History Month, we are featuring interviews with local Black community leaders. These pieces were written by Baylor University students from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media. The students asked questions about what the leaders love about Waco, and we are excited to share their responses with you this month.

By George Schroeder

Mia Moody-Ramirez came to Waco for a job 31 years ago and ended up staying to pursue more education and a new career path. “Waco really grows on you,” she said. “It’s the right size, not too small, not too big, and I like that Waco is centrally located.”

Mia Moody-Ramirez

She moved to Waco in 1990 to work with the Waco Tribune-Herald. Then, while pursuing her master’s degree in journalism at Baylor University, Moody-Ramirez was asked to teach a class.

“I found out it was something that I was passionate about, and I decided to pursue teaching,” Moody-Ramirez said. “After graduating with my master’s degree, I decided to immediately go on and get a Ph.D. in journalism and after I got my Ph.D. I just stayed on at Baylor.”

Today, she is chair of Baylor’s journalism, public relations, and new media department.

Though she thought she would move on to a larger city after receiving her degrees from Baylor, she wanted to continue working at Baylor and decided Waco would be a good place to raise her family. 

Moody-Ramirez appreciates the simpler, more affordable aspects of Waco. She loves to walk with her family around downtown, along the Brazos River, and around the various parks and lakes. 

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun,” Moody-Ramirez said. “You can just walk around and take pictures. It’s beautiful. It’s very scenic, so I like that part about Waco.”

While her sons, much of her time revolved around them and involved taking them to their various activities, Moody-Ramirez said. As they have gotten older, she has been able to focus on more of what interests her around Waco. 

“I like to go to wine tastings, book readings, poetry readings, just pretty chill events like that, that are melo where I can relax,” Moody-Ramirez said. “I’ve pretty much been shut in since March, but traditionally those are some of the things I would do.”

Apart from leisurely activities, Moody-Ramirez is a member of three organizations in Waco — Jack and Jill of America, The Links, and Delta Sigma Theta. Many of their events have gone virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

These organizations revolve around service and civic engagement, she said, and most of her activity is now centered around them. When it comes to local events, she likes a two-pronged approach.

“They are fun on one hand but are also sponsored so you can raise money to give back to an organization,” Moody-Ramirez said. “I like to give back to organizations that are focused on you, organizations that will have an impact on our future generations, on children.”

Specifically focusing on children with the Waco Chapter of Jack and Jill, Moody-Ramirez attends “Jazzy for a Healthy Heart” every January. At this event, having a strong heart is promoted through healthy food, jazz music, and various speakers.

“It’s one of the things I look forward to every year,” Moody-Ramirez said. “I like that organization because I participate in it with my children. The money we raise from that event will go to an organization that’s for children.”

With her emphasis on giving back to the community and specifically younger generations, Moody-Ramirez has become a valued member of the Waco community, and is a caring teacher and leading voice at Baylor.

George Schroeder is a journalism student at Baylor University.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at ferrell@prosperwaco.org.

CWJC: Nurturing Women, Transforming Lives in Waco

By Anna Hoffman

I first heard about Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) Waco 5 years ago when I joined “Women of Waco” for business networking. We often talked about the needs of CWJC and we regularly gathered items for the students. One WOW meeting 3 years ago the director told the group that they had a need for a volunteer to teach night class Bible Study. I had already wanted to be more involved and here was my chance. 

Here it is 3 years later, and it is clear that CWJC, the students and the leaders have had more of an impact on me than I have had on them. 

The reason I volunteer is to be a part of something that encourages and equips women. My goal with the Bible Study is to do these same things by reminding the students of two things that encompass a great amount of truth: 1) That there is hope for their future. 2) That God deeply loves them. I want to be involved with an organization that is doing this very thing. At various times in all of our lives, we need to be reminded of these two things. In a Bible Study or through a devotional reading this can be simply done. One of my favorite things to do is to remind others that God loves them and that He is for them. Not because of something we did or didn’t do, but because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is what motivates me to be dedicated to the ladies of CWJC and to their mission to “Nurture Women & Transform Lives.” This is what motivates me to give of my time, resources, and money. The Baskets of Hope fundraiser is designed to give us ALL the opportunity to remind others there is hope for the future and that God seriously loves them. Accomplishing this mission day in and day out comes at a cost. 

If we all come together, teachers, mentors, staff, volunteers, donors, and students for this all-encompassing mission of “Nurturing Women, Transforming Lives” the impact will be immeasurable. We will have ladies who are educated with their GED and have the tools to find a good job. But more importantly these same ladies will know they have a community of people who support them and a Savior who loves them. Then they can pass that on.… Hope for the future!


Supporting CWJC Waco brings transformation and hope to women across McLennan County. Join our mission by exploring ways to give at www.wacobaskets.com or contact us at 254-757-0416 for more information.


Anna Hoffman has served for several years as a community leader and community relations director advocating for the care of the sick and elderly. She is the Community Relations Director for Visiting Angels where she has the privilege of serving local healthcare professionals and seniors. Because of her years of being the wife of a wonderful husband, the mother of two amazing kids, a grandmother, a pastor’s wife, and music director, she brings with her a compassionate heart to help connect her clients to the right services for their needs. Anna is actively involved in various community organizations – serving on the board of the Greater Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, chairing events for the Alzheimer’s Association, serving as the President of the Women of Waco, and teaching weekly Bible study at CWJC Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Partner with Communities In Schools to Grow Your Business

By Jillian Jones

Communities In Schools of the Heart of Texas (CISHOT) has been known for over 30 years for providing wraparound services to thousands of students and families in the many school districts across our Heart of Texas region. However, many people may not know that Communities In Schools serves youth beyond their school years and into adulthood as well. The Workforce Development Program at CISHOT provides case management, career advancement services, and real-life work experience to young adults to help them work towards post-secondary education and careers that provide stability and opportunity.  

CISHOT intern, Tiffany, settles into her new full-time position at Friends For Life after completing her 8-week internship through the Workforce Development program.

One of the more tangible ways young adults break into the job market is through internships. Internships provide the participant with valuable insight into a career field they may be interested in, as well as access to mentorship and guidance from more experienced workers. Employers can also use internships as vital training time that is needed before an intern can receive a full-time job offer.

While internships have tangible benefits for both the participant and the employer, we understand internships can be costly for an employer and unpaid internships are not as attractive to young people or as common as they used to be.

This is where the Workforce Development Program at Communities In Schools of the Heart of Texas plays a role. With funding and support from the Heart of Texas Workforce Development Board, Communities In Schools is able to provide internships on a year-round, rolling basis at dozens of local businesses across all sectors and industries. These short-term internships are completely free for an employer who volunteers to host an interested participant, as CISHOT acts as the employer of record and covers all wages paid to the intern for the duration of the internship.

CISHOT intern, Enrique, works on his kitchen skills in the food & Beverage Department at the Hilton Waco Hotel & Restaurant.

The job market is changing rapidly as we navigate through the pandemic. While some employers are downsizing or shifting to permanent virtual work, others may be having trouble finding enough qualified applicants to return to normal operations. If you’re an employer who is looking to hire or fill open positions amidst the uncertainty, please consider hosting an intern (or two!) through the Workforce Development Program at CISHOT. All interns participate in a four-hour New Hire Training course covering workplace basics and safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our 2020 Fall cohort will start on October 12 and will work through December 11. We are looking to expand our employer base and would love to work with YOU on a partnership that can benefit young adults in our community and help your business grow through this season of change!


Jillian Jones is the Director of the Workforce Development Program at Communities In Schools of the Heart of Texas. Jillian is a Waco native and a graduate of Baylor University and the University of North Carolina. She enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with family, doing anything outdoors, and worrisome amounts of online shopping. She has a husband, Jenner, and a dog, Buddy.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.orgfor more information.

Renovation Complete at Historic Greenwood Cemetery

Press release, City of Waco. Additional Notes, Ashley Bean Thornton

The City of Waco is holding a Virtual Ribbon Cutting to mark the completion of the renovation of the Greenwood Cemetery.  The edited virtual ribbon cutting celebration ceremony will air on WCCC-TV (available on Spectrum and Grande cable channel 10 and on the web at www.wccc.tv) at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 15.

Greenwood Cemetery is Waco’s second oldest cemetery, dating back to 1875.  While Greenwood is the final resting place for many of Waco’s famous and widely celebrated citizens, it has struggled with the legacy of a segregated past. 

The $435,000 improvement project was a collaborative effort to remove the boundaries that separated the “White section” from the “Black section” and place the entire cemetery within the City of Waco’s care.  Working together were families, citizens and former cemetery association members along with the Texas Historical Commission, Texas Department of Transportation, People’s Cemetery Association, McLennan County, Methodist Children’s Home and the City of Waco.

Here are some brief notes about just a few of the notable people who are buried at Greenwood.

Robert Bevis (1889 – 1972)

Robert Bevis was born in Austin. He attended Tillotson College there.  He later received a Master of Arts from Denver University in Colorado.  He organized South Waco Colored Elementary School (later named Oakwood School) in 1914.  He was the first principal and served in that role for for 44 years (1914 – 1959), minus one year for serving in WWI.  In November of 1915 South Waco Colored School moved into the first brick school for Negroes to be erected in Waco.  

Jules Bledsoe (1899 – 1943)

Even as a young child, Jules Bledose loved to sing.  He gave his first performance, age five, at New Hope Baptist Church. In 1918 he Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bishop College.  In 1920 he began studying medicine at Columbia University.  After taking voice lessons, career plans shifted. In 1924 he made his professional music debut at the Aeolian Hall in mid-town Manhattan.  In 1927 his portrayal of Joe in Jerome Kern’s Showboat launched him into the spotlight. His version of  “Ol’ Man River” became a classic.  Known internationally, he performed across the United States and in Europe.  Despite racial discrimination his immense talent and skill earned him the right to perform with BBC Symphony in London, the Royal-Dutch Italian Opera Company, and the Cosmopolitan Opera Association in New York.  He was also a composer. He composed several songs and an opera titled “Bondage” based upon Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Andrew “Lefty” Cooper (1896 – 1941)

Born in Waco in 1896/1898, Andrew Cooper attended A. J. Moore High School and Paul Quinn College.  Prior to the 1940s, Black people could not play baseball in the American Major Leagues.  Cooper had successful careers in both the The Negro National League, and the Negro American League. He played for both Detroit and Kansas City. Cooper was known as one of the best pitchers in baseball.  He became player/manager of the Monarchs in 1937. By 1940 he had led Kansas City to three championships. Cooper died in 1941 only a few years before Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues 1946.  In 2006 Andrew Cooper was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Estella Maxey – (1904-1948)

Estella Maxey was an orphan.  She was adopted by Gussie Moore and raised on South Second Street near Baylor.  Even as a child she was fascinated with music and would slip away to pick out tunes on the piano.  She had perfect pitch. During the depression she organized an orchestra to accompany her on the piano and began to play and sing to make a living.  Gradually she began playing dance music.  Soon she was “all the rage” playing at private parties for all the rich people in town. A generation of young people in Waco learned to dance to the sound of Stella singing “My Blue Heaven,” “Lover, Come back to Me,” “You’re my Everything” and other hits of the time.  When she died in 1948, the Waco Tribune-Herald ran her obituary on the front page.

Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes (1932 – 1995)

Vivienne Lucille Malone grew up in Waco and graduated at age 16 from A.J. Moore High School, not far from the Baylor campus. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Fisk University. She chaired the math departments at Bishop College in Dallas and then Paul Quinn College, which was in Waco at the time. Because she wanted to take more graduate-level classes courses, she applied to Baylor in 1961, but she was rejected because of her race. In 1962 she enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, which had been required by federal law to integrate. She persevered to become the second African-American and the first black female to earn a PhD in mathematics from the University of Texas.  After earning her PhD, she returned to Waco where she was eventually hired as the first African-American faculty member at Baylor University in 1966.  By 1971, Baylor Student Congress named her as an Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year. 

How to Help when there is a Hurricane

By Craig Nash

A Hurricane Season Public Service Announcement. (Can also be used for tornado season, flood season, earthquake season, etc.): The best way to help during a disaster is to send money directly to an organization that is already doing work in the area affected by the disaster.

Don’t collect bottles of water to send to them. They know how much water they need better than we do and already have mechanisms in place for purchasing and distributing it. They just need money to buy the water.

Don’t collect food to send to them. They know who needs the food because they are there. They know what foods are appropriate. They know what types of food they are low on and what types of food they have too much of. Sending them unsolicited food complicates their work. They need money to buy the food.

They need the flexibility to spend the money on

  • Diapers.
  • Formula.
  • Hardhats.
  • Chainsaws.
  • Pet Food.
  • Assorted Clothes.

Purchasing or collecting these items to send makes us feel a lot better than sending money to a trusted organization.  It makes us feel like we are actually doing something. But even though it feels better, it is far less helpful. Whether it is the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Texas Baptist Men, or a Feeding America Food Bank on the coast (for example South East Texas Food Bank), or a local church in a coastal town, there are organizations that know the needs and work day in and day out every day to hone and improve the processes for providing relief during a disaster. They can do a lot more with accumulated money than they can with accumulated bags of stuff. What they need is money.


Craig Nash is regional manager for child hunger outreach at Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative. He enjoys talking and writing about Waco, country music, and faith. He blogs at 17dutton.com.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Census visiting non-responding households

NEWS RELEASE

Census takers are working to follow up with Waco and McLennan County households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. 

The current self-response rate in McLennan County is 58.5%. The Census Bureau will need to visit the remaining addresses to collect responses in person.

Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.

Protecting Health and Safety

The Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working together to protect the health and safety of the public and employees. Participation in 2020 Census interviews should present a low risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Census takers are trained to rigorously and universally follow these CDC recommendations to mitigate the risk of transmission:

  • Wearing face masks
  • Maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more
  • Practicing hand hygiene
  • Not entering homes and conducting interviews outside as much as possible or practical

Household members encountered by census staff are encouraged to maintain social distances during interviews and practice the CDC’s other recommendations as much as possible.

Joint statement from the Census Bureau and the CDC

What Households Can Expect

Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.

If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.

How to Identify Census Takers

Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Denver/Dallas Regional Census Center at 972-510-1800 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

Media requesting b-roll video or photos on how to identify a Census employee can visit this press kit: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-kits/2020/b-roll.html

About the 2020 Census

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. 

For more information, visit 2020census.gov

Make It Through Corona Fund launched

(From the COVID-19 Community Newsletter)

Creative Waco launched the Make It Through Corona (MITC) Fund to assist local artists, performers and arts-based businesses who have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The fund provides aid to artists, performers and arts-based businesses in Waco and McLennan County by providing mini grants (up to $500) and other valuable practical support. The program supports developing new skills, creating new artwork, purchasing equipment or using the time to adapt practices and programs to “make it through” the current changes for the benefit of our whole community.
 
Make It Through Corona was created in conjunction with the Make It In Wacoonline marketplace in effort to support those in our artistic and cultural sector impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The platform hosts over 90 local vendors and almost 600 family-friendly, handmade or original products, services or experiences. 
 
Fifteen percent of each purchase is donated to support the MITC Fund. Over $500 has been donated into the fund since the website launched in April. The MITC Fund launched May 9 and received over $10,000 worth of donations from the community to date. Creative Waco hopes to reach their goal of $25,000 by June 1.
 
Applications for grants are accepted on a rolling basis, evaluated by a diverse panel of community members, and decisions are made within 14 days of receiving an application. To find more information about the fund and to apply visit creativewaco.org/mitc-fund. To donate visit creativewaco.org/support or shop MakeItInWaco.com.Creative Waco launched the Make It Through Corona (MITC) Fund to assist local artists, performers and arts-based businesses who have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The fund provides aid to artists, performers and arts-based businesses in Waco and McLennan County by providing mini grants (up to $500) and other valuable practical support. The program supports developing new skills, creating new artwork, purchasing equipment or using the time to adapt practices and programs to “make it through” the current changes for the benefit of our whole community.
 
Make It Through Corona was created in conjunction with the Make It In Wacoonline marketplace in effort to support those in our artistic and cultural sector impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The platform hosts over 90 local vendors and almost 600 family-friendly, handmade or original products, services or experiences. 
 
Fifteen percent of each purchase is donated to support the MITC Fund. Over $500 has been donated into the fund since the website launched in April. The MITC Fund launched May 9 and received over $10,000 worth of donations from the community to date. Creative Waco hopes to reach their goal of $25,000 by June 1.
 
Applications for grants are accepted on a rolling basis, evaluated by a diverse panel of community members, and decisions are made within 14 days of receiving an application. To find more information about the fund and to apply visit creativewaco.org/mitc-fund. To donate visit creativewaco.org/support or shop MakeItInWaco.com.

Helping your teen through the strangest year ever

From The Heart of Texas Region MHMR

Most teenagers strive for independence, want to be with their peers, and are looking ahead to the future. Given this, how do we care for young people during this time, when they aren’t able to hang out with their friends and whose plans may have been cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus? Below are some strategies that might help to address these unexpected parenting challenges, especially at a time when many adults are struggling to hold it all together.

Make Space for Disappointment and Sadness

Teenagers everywhere are facing losses. Once-in-a-lifetime events, such as, graduations, sporting events, and proms have either been cancelled or drastically modified. Performances and competitions for which teenagers have been preparing for months, if not years, have been cancelled overnight. While schools and teachers struggle to get coursework online, gone are the clubs, teams, and other interactions that many students enjoy.  

Though we can’t replace what’s been lost, adults should not undervalue the power of offering empathy to discouraged adolescents. In addition to feelings of anxiety around COVID-19, teenagers may be feeling sad, angry, and frustrated about what has become of their year. Words of understanding or empathy might include, “I hate that you have lost so much so fast and I am sorry this has happened. You’ll get through this, but that doesn’t make it any easier right now.” When it comes to addressing painful feelings with teenagers, offering compassion can help pave their way toward feeling better.

Make Space for Relief and Joy

The same teenagers who may be feeling upset about missing school and their peers, may also express some feelings of relief. As much as they are grieving their losses, they may also be relieved at getting out of some commitments they never wanted to keep, or interactions with classmates, teachers or coaches that may have been negative in the past. We might say, “It’s OK to feel relief now too,” while reassuring teenagers that embracing the upsides of the disruption does not minimize what they’ve lost or their worries about the impact of the virus.

Expect Friction Regarding Their Social Lives

If you’re a parent who is sticking to the social distancing guidelines, your teenager is probably already frustrated with you, as some parents are still allowing their kids to hang out as usual. To address this we might say, “I know that other parents are still having kids over, but we can’t support that choice because it doesn’t fit with what the official safety recommendations are.” From there, we can let our teenagers know that when turning down invites they are free to blame us, and that if local safety guidelines allow, we’re open to their suggestions about how they might get together with friends outdoors, six feet apart.

When adolescents can’t see their peers in person, it seems only fair to loosen the rules on how much time they spend connecting online. But all bets aren’t off. Now, as always, rules are still in order to keep digital technology from undermining essential elements of healthy development. Sleep, productive learning, physical activity and face-to-face interactions (even if only with family members for now) should not be crowded out by life online.

Allow Privacy and Time Alone

Of course, few adolescents will want to spend all of their new at-home time with their parents or guardians. Teenagers who are formally quarantined, under shelter-in-place orders, or simply practicing social distancing will need and deserve privacy and time alone. Make it clear that you welcome your teenagers’ company, but don’t take it personally if they want you nearby but quiet, or if they want to spend time in some other private space in your home.

Think about approaching your teenager with an extra measure of thoughtfulness when making requests. For example, saying, “We’re going to need you to supervise your sister for a couple of hours, but we know that you have plans too. How should we do this?” might be a good place to start.

Treat Teenagers as Problem-Solving Partners

As we struggle to figure out new rules, systems and routines for daily living, let’s remember that adolescents are usually at least as resourceful as adults. Don’t hesitate to ask teenagers’ help. We could say, “We’re all having to invent new ways to arrange our days. Can you show me what you have in mind so that I can get a feel for your regular schedule and make sure you’re covering all your bases?”

The school year is ending, summer is nearly here and there is a lot we still don’t know about how that will unfold for our teenagers, but there are some truths about adolescents that can help us through this difficult time: they welcome empathy, they are resilient and adaptable, and they appreciate — and tend to live up to — high expectations.

Dual Realities

By Alfred Solano

During this time of crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic we are asked to stay at home except for when we are doing essential business. This is an important step to minimize the spread of this disease. Even so, this situation is having a severe impact on business and organizations.  In turn, the impact on those entities is severely affecting peoples’ lives in various ways and to varying degrees.

What is apparent to me is that there are dual realities because of this crisis. Some of us are being Inconvenienced while others are being devastated. There are those of us who are able to work from home with little worry about how we will immediately survive. We will likely be able to weather this storm. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a population of folks who are experiencing no or very limited income because their workplace is closed or greatly reduced in capacity, and they have no good way to work from home. Whether they get through this situation is not so assured.

Fortunately, at this time I am only being inconvenienced, and I am thinking of how I can support those who are being devastated. In my case, for example, I am driving very little these days, and even when I do drive, the price of gasoline is very low. My personal budget is benefiting because I am not spending money on fuel like I normally do. That surplus of money is not a huge, but my wife and I are consciously spending it in our local retail shops, restaurants (where we are tipping as generously as we are able), and service businesses.

Money spent locally has a direct and immediate impact on local payroll, the purchase of goods, services, rents/utilities and contributes to the local tax base. At this particular moment that money may be the difference between a local business surviving or shuttering their doors.

I recognize that not all local businesses have online stores and it is very easy to search online and quickly buy what we need or want at the click of a button from an out of the area enterprise.  Please remember, those out of area purchases do nothing to support our local economy.

My ask is that each of us evaluate our current situation. If you are able, let’s support local businesses wholeheartedly by buying local to the extent that we can. Together we can get through this crisis. Be well!


Some helpful websites for local businesses who would like to offer products and services on-line:

Creative Waco has created an online marketplace www.makeitinwaco.com to serve as a means for local businesses to easily set up an online store.

The Cen-Tex Chambers have created an online directory free to all local businesses at www.buylocalwaco.com.


Alfred Solano was raised in Waco and is a graduate of Texas State Technical College. He is the President and CEO of the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce since June of 2018. His community activities include currently serving as a board member of Act Locally Waco, the Family Health Center, Hillcrest Health System, Inc., MCC Foundation, StartUp Waco, and Vice Chairman of Prosper Waco.  After 35 years of working in the business community, Alfred enjoys bringing his experiences and various partnerships and relationships to the membership and community that the Hispanic Chamber works to serve. Rachel his wife can be found around town enjoying all the coolness that is Waco. Alfred and Rachel are very proud of his Daughter Elena who works as a Psychotherapist and lives in Austin. Contact information: 254 754-7111 · alfred@wacohispanicchamber.com · www.wacohispanicchamber.com.

Greater Waco Chamber to Feature Four Local Employers in First Jobs Spotlight Event on Wednesday, May 6

Press Release

WACO, Texas- The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s first Find Your Waco Jobs Spotlight virtual event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. and will feature hiring representatives from Ascension Providence, Clay Pot Restaurant, Pilgrim’s- Waco, and Midway ISD. Job Seekers are encouraged to register for this inaugural event and learn about available positions that span the spectrum of education and skills.

During each weekly event in the series, the hiring representatives from featured companies will provide a short overview of their companies and discuss their job openings, the required skills/ experience to apply, benefits offered, and the application process. “For anyone currently looking for work, this is a must attend event,” remarked Jennifer Branch, Director of Existing Industries & Workforce Development. Branch continued, “In response to the rapid rise of area unemployment caused by the pandemic, the Greater Waco Chamber developed this series to help the adversely affected members of our community. We hope to connect job seekers with their potential new employers!”

The four featured employers will be announced each week in the series. The Find Your Waco Jobs Spotlight series will be held via Zoom and recordings will be available following each event on the Waco Chamber website, wacochamber.com and talent portal, WacoTxJobs.com.

For more information on the Find Your Waco Jobs Spotlight series, please reach out to Jennifer Branch by telephone at 254-757-5625 or email jbranch@wacochamber.com. To register, please visit, Find Your Waco Jobs Spotlight.