By Don Bolding
Killeen Daily Herald
Workforce Solutions of Central Texas and its staff, usually at the top of local organizations at making parties of their annual celebrations, outdid itself this year by wrapping a play titled "The Worksters" around awards presentations at the 20th annual awards banquet.
Since the banquet fell on Halloween, several hundred guests, including state and local officials, sat down to a decor of purple and black in the Killeen Civic and Conference Center Friday and listened to spooky music before U.S. Rep. John Carter and WSCT executive director Susan Kamas gave out awards capped by the Volunteer of the Year award to Patty Watts, nominated by WSCT board chair Jim Granfor.
Kamas said the organization had been listed by the Texas Association of Business and Texas Monthly magazine as one of the best places in Texas to work for the third consecutive year.
The comic "Worksters," patterned after the vintage television show "The Munsters," included Jerry Haisler as Herman, Debbie Gommert as Lily, Ben Lopez as Grandpa, Mark Dohnalik as Eddie and Katrina McCall as Marilyn.
When the beautiful Marilyn won a beauty contest, the others said either the judges felt sorry for her or she was the only contestant.
When Herman survived an attempt to execute him in an electric chair, he got up and traded slaps with the executioner.
Officials and staff put on elaborate productions each year – "The Wizard of Oz" was last year's theme – to model workplace spirit and cooperation as well as to entertain.
Haisler, who is also director of the centers, said, "We use the theme to produce and promote not only the award recipients but also to promote our own work ethic of utilizing creativity and teamwork to accomplish our mission."
Other top awards included five Workforce Achievement Awards presented to clients of the Central Texas Workforce Centers for outstanding success in using the WSCT system to train, interview and land good-paying jobs. They were Alicia Bazan, Vanita English, Anthony Knight, Roger Sanders and James Williford.
The WSCT was formerly known as Central Texas Workforce Centers under the Central Texas Workforce Board with centers in Cameron, Killeen, Lampasas, Rockdale and Temple. The organization is one of 28 regional affiliates of the Texas Workforce Commission, divided several years ago to create more local autonomy.
Other award winners included:
Business of the Year: McLane Advanced Technologies, LLC, accepted by Charlyn Renfrow, and Walden Security, accepted by chief Adrian Arnett;
Business Supporting Families: Small Wonders Wildcat Nursery, accepted by director Lynda Stokes;
Media Award: Don Bolding of the Killeen Daily Herald;
Workforce Preparation: Ernistine Keener of Experience Works;
Outstanding Partnership: Central Texas Business Resource Center, accepted by director Marcus Carr;
Professional of the Year: Rich Froeschle and Dale Robertson;
Distinguished Service: Doretha King, Carol Mills, Dr. Marc Nigliazzo, Dr. Lee Ogburn-Russell, Debbie Seery, Patty Watts and Marion Young.
The work force center in Killeen is at 300 Cheyenne. More information about WSCT is available at (800) 460-8801 or www.workforcelink.com.
Contact Don Bolding at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7557.