Council Members

To advocate for and support a systems approach to the delivery of workforce programs and services, the Council convenes quarterly or at the call of the Chair to consider actions, research, and other issues related to workforce system programs and services.

The Council is composed of 19 members. The Governor appoints 14 members representing business and industry, organized labor, education, and community-based organizations. The remaining five members are ex-officio representatives from the Council's member state agencies.

Business and Industry

  • Rick Rhodes, Chair (Austin)
  • Paloma Ahmadi (Shavano Park)
  • Lauren Gore (Houston)
  • Thomas Halbouty (Southlake)
  • Wayne Oswald (Houston)

Community-Based Organization

  • Michelle Harper, Vice-Chair (San Marcos)


  • Joe Arnold (Muldoon)
  • Richard Rhodes (Austin)
  • Johnny Vahalik (San Antonio)

Organized Labor

  • Jesse Gatewood (Corpus Christi)
  • Lindsey Geeslin (Waco)
  • John Martin (San Antonio)
  • Paul Puente (Houston)
  • Brandon Willis (Beaumont)

State Agency Ex Officio

  • Adriana Cruz (Economic Development and Tourism, Office of the Governor)
  • Harrison Keller (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board)
  • Mike Morath (Texas Education Agency)
  • Ed Serna (Texas Workforce Commission)
  • Cecile Young (Texas Health and Human Services Commission)