Board Member (Workforce Investment Council, Texas)
Term Ends: 09-01-2013
Home Town: Laredo
Blas Castaneda is the external affairs/economic development officer at Laredo Community College in Laredo, Texas and served on the original Texas Workforce Investment Council from 1990-1994. In 2008 he was appointed to serve again on the Texas Workforce Investment Council. A Post-secondary veteran of 34 years at Laredo Community College, he has enjoyed a pro-active career in building collaborations, partnerships, and regional planning for public education, higher education with business and industry at the local, regional, state, and international levels along the Texas-Mexico Border.
He was elected council member to the Laredo City Council from 1988-1996. He was the leader in developing and establishing the distance learning program that is part of the virtual college of Texas on line systems. Castaneda established the Laredo District V Scholarship Bound program in 1989 that has awarded several hundred thousand dollars in scholarships to talented youth of limited income.
Mr. Castaneda is on the Board as Ex-Officio President and served as President (2006-2008) of the Future of the Region Inc. (FORI). He is a member and chair to the workforce and education committee of the Texas Border Coalition (TBC), he also serves on the Board of TMC formerly Texas Migrant Council which is a multimillion, multi-state, multi service organization that promotes services in family literacy, consumer education, prenatal care, and education for parents in identifying quality daycares with a budget of almost $100 million dollars.
In January of 2009, Mr. Castaneda joined the South Texas Workforce Solutions Board as a member representing Adult and Continuing Education as an appointment from the Mayor of Laredo.
Mr. Castaneda has extensive experience in regional planning with school districts, colleges, and universities and the private sector. He is highly respected by both business and labor in working for them to establish high wages-high skills business development. Mr. Castaneda has received numerous awards for economic development, community service, education and labor. Texas Lulac Council 12 recognized him in 1999 with the Tejano's High Achievers Award for his achievements in education, Laredo-Webb County Bar Association recognized him with the Liberty Bell Award for being an advocate for students and women and the Central Labor Council of Webb County, AFL-CIO bestowed the 1st "Salute To Labor" Star Award for his service to the community, assistance to students and economic development in 1995. A true friend of labor.