STEPHEN HEMELT — Entering the workforce is focus of free, public meeting in Orange

Published 12:18 am Saturday, April 15, 2023

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According to Katie Venable, next week’s public meeting is “going to be very interesting.”

Venable works in reference and children’s services for the Orange Public Library, and she was speaking about Tuesday’s ADULTING 101 class, which is free for the public.

“I think a lot of younger people will be able to come out and figure out how to enter the workforce, learn how to do a resume and different things like that,” Venable said.

The event runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 18 and will be led by representatives from Workforce Solutions.

Venable said the monthly events, which have different topics, have gone well since launching this year.

She said the emerging job market is a great starting point for community discussion because the City of Orange and greater county is “going great. It is moving forward.”

Anyone who would like more information about the event can call the circulation desk at 409-883-1086.

The Orange Public Library began hosting the “Adulting 101” program to help bridge that gap in life skills that are not necessarily addressed in school.

Every third Tuesday of the month the library sponsors a free program designed to introduce an “adult” skill or knowledge.

“We hope attendees of all ages learn something they didn’t already know in an enjoyable environment,” Brenna Manasco, library director, told Orange Newmedia before the event’s beginning. “[We] will be hosting programs on subjects like finance, civic responsibility, basic first aid, basic sewing, renting vs. buying and realty, and basic automotive care.”

Manasco says the idea for the program was borrowed from another public library but Orange have done similar programs in the past through a summer young adult effort.

For those looking ahead, the May 16 meeting is titled, “Being Safe With Your Data On Your Smartphone.”

Adulting 101 classes are being held in the Ira M. Williams Meeting Room at Orange Public Library. (Stephen Hemelt/The Leader)

Golden Polymers

In March, Golden Triangle Polymers Company, a joint venture owned by Chevron Phillips Chemical and QatarEnergy, announced $400,000 in donations to create a community economic and workforce development program called Local First.

Through the Local First program, the company is collaborating with Orange County and Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas to prioritize Orange County and the Golden Triangle when sourcing suppliers, vendors and workforce for the Golden Triangle Polymers Project.

Chevron Phillips Chemical is managing engineering, procurement and construction for the project and will operate the facility after start-up.

The project is expected to create more than 500 full-time jobs and approximately 4,500 construction jobs and generate an estimated $50 billion for the community in residual economic impacts over 20 years.

An online job database created by Workforce Solutions includes available jobs from the project and a list of the primary companies carrying out engineering, procurement and construction work.

“The job portal we created is a one-stop-shop solution for people interested in working on the project. It’s much easier to go to one website than seven different websites to find work,” said Mary Hammon, executive director of Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas.

Local First will assist area workers and businesses to compete for opportunities through public communications, public fairs, information sessions and resource referrals.

Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas maintains a storefront at 2415 N 16th St. in Orange, Texas, where job seekers can go for basic screening, online application assistance and referral to local education institutions if additional training or certification is needed.

As part of the Local First program, Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas will also host job fairs that are free and open to the public.

Stephen Hemelt is the publisher at Orange Newsmedia, which produces the Orange Leader, and Orange Living Magazine. He can be reached at