The mission of Workforce Solutions Capital Area is to connect local people to local jobs. We are excited to welcome our newest member of our Board of Directors to help us bridge our region’s skills gap: Michelle Teakell. Michelle currently serves as Senior Technical Program Manager, Data Center Engineering at Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Get to know Michelle in our Q&A below, and connect with her on LinkedIn and to see her extensive experience in the tech and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Q: Where is your hometown?
A: Born in Abilene, raised in San Antonio.
Q: How did you first become involved with Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFS)?
A: A friend and colleague, Melanie Flowers [WFS’ board chair], was telling me about all the good work being done and I kept asking questions about how I could help. The tech space in Austin is growing so fast, and there’s a skills gap to be filled.
Q: How is WFS a go-to resource for employers in Austin?
A: Workforce Solutions is a good place to match industry skill demands with skill set development in the community.
Q: What is the value of connecting local people to local jobs?
A: Locals have a longer retention rate.
Q: How does upskilling benefit your industry?
A: Overall, the tech labor market in Austin is increasing. The benefit of upskilling is filling that need with pre-existing talent who want to grow their skills.
Q: How does your organization support growing Austin’s workforce from local programs and schools?
A: AWS Academy courses are offered at Austin Community College and The University of Texas at Austin.
Q: How has skills training helped you develop your career?
A: I’m a forever-student. I love developing my own personal skill set.
Q: What does your ideal day in the Austin area look like?
A: I’m a morning person, so my ideal day starts early with a casual jog with my kids on their bikes or scooters. Then in the afternoon, I would love to catch a live University of Texas (football or basketball depending on the season) game. Then grab an early dinner at Chuy’s to beat the crowds!
Q: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
A: No way. Ketchup doesn’t belong in a sandwich.
Q: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
A: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Really, it’s not worth it.