Governor Abbott Appoints Five To Texas Workforce Investment Council

October 18, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Johnny Vahalik, Ed.D. and Michelle Harper to the Texas Workforce Investment Council for terms set to expire on September 1, 2029 and September 1, 2025, respectively. Additionally, the Governor has reappointed Jesse Gatewood, John Langdon Martin, and Richard Craig Rhodes for terms set to expire on September 1, 2029. The Council engages in a collaborative, systematic view of workforce development programs throughout the state and provides planning, evaluation, research, and other functions related to 19 workforce programs.

Johnny Vahalik, Ed.D. of San Antonio is the assistant superintendent of college, career, and military readiness for San Antonio Independent School District, which includes adult and community education that serves over a thousand adults. He is a member of the Alliance for Technology Education in Applied Math and Sciences and Career and Technical Administrators of Texas. He volunteers with the San Antonio Community Action Committee. Vahalik received a Bachelor of Accounting from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Education Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership from Walden University.

Michelle Harper of San Marcos is the president and chief executive officer of United Way of Hays & Caldwell Counties. She serves as vice chair of the San Marcos Academy Bear Network, board secretary for the Master’s School of San Marcos Foundation, board member for the First United Methodist Church of San Marcos Foundation, and a volunteer assistant tennis and basketball coach for San Marcos Academy. Harper received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Public Relations from Southwest Texas State University, as well as a teacher certificate from Texas State University.

Jesse Gatewood of Corpus Christi is an employee of Power Line Electric, LLC. He serves as a board member of Workforce Coastal Bend and of the Coast Life credit union. He is a former business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 278 and training director for the Texas Gulf Coast Electrical Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC).

John Langdon Martin of San Antonio is training director for the South Texas Electrical JATC. He is a member of the National Electrical Training Directors Association and serves on the Curriculum Development Committee. He is the state vice president and San Antonio Chapter president of the Apprenticeship and Training Association of Texas and a member of the Texas Workforce Commission Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee. He is a former board member of the Durham, North Carolina Workforce Development Board and was appointed by the North Carolina Secretary of Labor to the North Carolina Apprenticeship Council. He has worked as a registered apprentice, an electrician by trade, and holds his Master Electrician licensed through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Richard “Rick” Craig Rhodes of Austin is the rural engagement coordinator for the Texas Rural Funders. He previously worked in senior state government positions with the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Texas Governor. Additionally, he has experience in the private sector as a small business owner and a commercial banker. He is a member of the Texas Economic Development Council and previously volunteered as an elder at The Lakeway Church and Hill Country Bible Church and as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Sweetwater. Governor Abbott previously named Rhodes chair of the Texas Workforce Investment Council, and he continues to serve in that capacity. Rhodes received a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.