Who We Are
Sister Mignonne Konecny Lead Organizer, Valley Interfaith
History & Services
Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA) is a community based, non-profit 501 (c)3 agency. Created in 1995, VIDA was the result of a local effort led by community leaders of Valley Interfaith and private industry business leaders. The impetus was the need to empower the underserved residents of our region with the tools, education and training to become self-sufficient while fueling the growth of the existing employers and increasing the recruitment of new investment to the area by developing a highly skilled workforce. Since its inception, VIDA’s mission remains constant, to formulate new institutional relationships in the Rio Grande Valley that simultaneously address employers’ needs for skilled workers and link the area’s unemployed and underemployed with high skilled, high wage jobs identified in the region. VIDA works closely with the business sector, training providers, and community-based organizations to develop a skilled workforce that will meet the demands of employers in the Rio Grande Valley.
A Unique Service Strategy
VIDA's unique program model is at the core of the resounding success demonstrated by an average 94% retention rate while in training. Our Career Counselors / Case Managers work closely with each individual student to address barriers that historically plague this demographic pocket and ultimately quash their efforts of continuing education. Financial matters, family issues, and time management are but a few of the elements that are addressed through weekly counseling sessions. In addition, VIDA Counselors infuse group sessions with soft skills training such as general employability, resume preparation and interviewing, financial management, and study skills. Guest speakers are invited for open dialogue about home buying, savings, investments, and retirement planning. Wrap around services, training and counseling, equip VIDA participants to enter the workforce with the skills and commitment necessary for success.
To formulate new institutional relationships in the Rio Grande Valley that simultaneously address employers' needs for skilled workers and link the area's unemployed and underemployed with high skills, high wage jobs identified in the region. The program provides job-training services to economically disadvantaged, unemployed, and underemployed adults with family responsibilities.
Our philosophy is very simple: A well trained, well educated population will not only be ready for tomorrow's jobs, but will be able to live a more prosperous, healthy, and happy lifestyle. The ultimate goal is job retention, not just job placement, which will develop strong citizens who are self-sufficient taxpayers, providing a clear return on investment of federal, state, local and private funding. Our graduates have not only helped the families they support and the businesses that now employ them: their ability to successfully move from the ranks of the low-income has helped us all. Their increased earnings have also enhanced their contributions to our tax system and reduced their dependence on public welfare. VIDA has demonstrated a model for success by graduating participants into demand occupations that normally were jobs unfilled or filled at a very high cost by people outside of our community.