San Benito library expands services to improve workforce

SAN BENITO — The public library is helping to improve the local workforce.

In an effort to get expand educational and employment opportunities, the library has expanded its services.

City commissioners have approved a memorandum of understanding between Cameron County Workforce Solutions and the city.

This MOU will expand the delivery of services that Workforce Solutions offers through the library.

Just recently, the library has started to better cater to the community by expanding its hours.

“We’ve been doing a lot of different activities here in the community, particularly though our website,” said Regional Director Henry Castillo.

Workforce Solutions has also worked with the city over the years to host job fairs that Castillo said have been very successful.

The new MOU would give citizens access to library computers to apply for jobs.

“What we would do is come train some of the staff to be able to assist the people coming in,” Castillo said. “It’s a state database that is easy to maneuver, but every once in a while individuals will run into problems.”

According to Careertrends.Com, which obtains its data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate is 0.2 percent higher than the national average of 5.6 percent.

Being able to offer work readiness and career exploration is a great thing, said Castillo.

“Especially with the younger folks,” he said. “Some are not sure about what they want to do.”

This way, with the new agreement, young adults will be able to use library resources and website tools to explore careers which are of interest.

“We also want to conduct workshops on soft skills and career readiness to help people prepare for the workforce,” Castillo said. “This way they will know the types of qualities employers are looking for.”

San Benito Employment at a glance

The following data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics via

August 2016 Key Stats

San Benito had an unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent for August, which is 0.4 lower than its 6.2 percent rate one month prior, and 0.1 higher than its 2016 average of 5.70 percent.

Change in Employment

Over the past month, San Benito has lost 20 employed workers. In the last year, this location has added 236 employed workers.

Workforce Breakdown

9,177 people are in the labor force, 59 fewer than one month ago.

8,645 workers are employed, 20 fewer than one month ago.

532 workers are unemployed, 39 fewer than 1 month ago.

Total Population versus Labor Force Participation Rate

The total population in Texas has increased over the last 12 months by 404,168 or 2 percent, and the state’s population has grown by 34,327 or .20 percent in the last month.

At the same time, the labor force participation rate has decreased by 0.10 percentage points or 0.16 percent over the past year.


In the last 12 months, Texas has gained residents, although its labor participation rate has declined, which means that a smaller proportion of state residents are working or seeking a job.

Library Extended Hours

New hours of operation Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday noon-5 p.m. Closed Sunday

The library is located at 101 W. Rose St. Phone: 956-361-3860.

San Benito offers more ways to find a job