In the San Antonio region, nearly 300,000 adults have begun college and obtained some credit, but do not have a degree or certificate to show for it. This represents both an economic development challenge and an opportunity for our community. Employers can collaborate with Upgrade to address skill shortages by a) committing to interview adult learners who obtain certain certificates or degrees, or b) developing an Upgrade partnership to support their employees through the process of completing degrees or certificates.  A team of a project director and a small cadre of highly trained advisors will help adult learners review transcripts, connect to career pathways, and accelerate toward a degree or certificate in a demand area. Higher education partners, as part of an Upgrade stakeholder network, will identify ways to make degree completion more flexible and affordable for working adults.

Why should your business participate?

Investing in your employees’ education opens doors to opportunity for our entire San Antonio region. Adults who complete their degree or certificate can earn more money, advance their careers, and improve job security. Higher education institutions recruit new students and diversify their student base. Businesses improve company culture and gain a competitive edge. In short, an educated workforce means a healthy economy and thriving community.

Upgrade is a part of a national model called The Graduate! Network. The Graduate! Network started in Philadelphia in 2008, and due to its success, 22 other cities around the country have joined in on this initiative. You have the opportunity to build a talent base for your company that will fuel long-term sustainability. By investing in your employees, you will be able to foster job satisfaction, increase productivity, and promote company loyalty. Additionally, by investing in your employees, you will be able to enhance your workforce to keep up with the demand of the market.

An increasing number of jobs now require a post-secondary credential. High level certificates, 2- and 4-year degrees will be required to fill the technically skilled in-demand positions throughout our industry sectors. Without an adequate pool of talent, these jobs cannot be filled.

Please review our pre-screening checklist available here. To learn more about Upgrade and how we can move forward in providing your company with our services, please contact the Program Director,  Micaela Rios at

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