In Texas, an Emerging Problem for Democrats on the Border

first_imgMr. Trump defeated Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Texas, winning a more narrow victory than he had in 2016 but winning nonetheless. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, won re-election. Wendy Davis lost again, one of several Democrats who tried and failed to grab Republican-controlled congressional seats. A push to flip the Texas House foundered, as Republicans held on to their majority. – Advertisement – Many residents in this part of Texas have strong Christian, anti-abortion, pro-gun and back-the-blue views that put them more in line with conservatives than liberals, and in Zapata, there is a strong sense among his supporters that Mr. Trump will bring jobs to the economically struggling region.In a brief exchange during the final presidential debate, Mr. Biden had said he would “transition from the oil industry” because of its pollution, a remark that did not go unnoticed by Zapata residents, including Yvette Gutierrez De Leon, 56, who is a secretary for an oil-field services company and who voted for Mr. Trump.“At the end of the day, in the little bit of oil field that is still left, if it goes away tomorrow our county will go away,” Ms. De Leon said. “Oil is all we have here.”Isela Gonzalez-Lindquist, 42, a saleswoman at a Laredo mattress store, said she voted for Mr. Trump even though she was opposed to his plans to extend the border wall in the area, because she believed it would hurt wildlife and infringe on the rights of property owners.“I want to convey that he is not perfect and we know that, but he is the best candidate for the job,” she said. “I like Trump’s grit and that he’s not a career politician.”James Dobbins reported from Zapata, and Manny Fernandez from Houston. David Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas. ZAPATA, Texas — Democrats spent years focusing on how they could finally win Texas. But since Tuesday’s election, they have been wrestling with a more pressing question: How did they lose Zapata County?In the reliably Democratic and majority-Hispanic stronghold of South Texas, Zapata County, population 14,179, had never been a political bellwether. It is a largely rural border community on a narrow stretch of the Rio Grande between Laredo and McAllen, home to oil-field workers and one of the highest poverty rates in Texas.- Advertisement – Mitt Romney lost Zapata County in 2012 by 43 percentage points. Donald J. Trump lost it in 2016 by 33. Ted Cruz lost it in 2018 by 26. On Tuesday, President Trump reversed many years of political history, including his own, and won Zapata County by 5 percentage points. “Why should I apologize for it? I’m not going to apologize anymore. Just because the president wants people to come into the country the right way, it doesn’t make him a racist. He’s not a racist and neither am I.”- Advertisement – Mexican-American families have called Brownsville, McAllen, Edinburg and other Rio Grande Valley cities home not for years but for generations. They identify with their Mexican roots just across the river but identify just as strongly with America. At the formal southern line of the nation, patriotism intensifies, and many an American flag waves in yards and on porches. Young Mexican-American men and women eagerly sign up to become Border Patrol agents. Often, their older relatives and neighbors worked for Border Patrol, and they are proud to do so, too, ignoring the perception of the agency among immigrant families elsewhere in the country. Many Trump voters in Zapata know one another, and they have formed an unofficial booster club and support group. It includes Ricardo Ramirez, 51, the president of a local bank branch, and Jack Moore, 45, an oil-field construction worker who said the Democrats of 50 years ago “are not the same Democrats today.”center_img These working-class and middle-class Mexican-Americans feel compassion for the Central American migrants who have been flooding the border off and on since 2014. Volunteering at migrant shelters and donating clothes and food have become Valley traditions. But many view those migrants as outsiders. The Hispanic migrant in a shelter and the Hispanic longtime Valley resident are culturally and economically disconnected. Texas is more politically and culturally complex than any one poll or election can capture. There were Houston oil-and-gas workers who voted for Mr. Trump, but many in the industry voted for Mr. Biden. There were longtime Democrats who, on the same ballot, voted for Mr. Biden and Mr. Cornyn. The president may have won Zapata County, but Mr. Cornyn lost it.If there is any one force determining how Texans vote, it is neither party nor politics. It is something that resists party labels but has helped transform Texas from a place to a cause — an ideology disguised as a brand disguised as a state. It is a cliché to say Texas is filled with mavericks, but the whole notion of mavericks belongs uniquely to Texas — the word comes from the surname of a Texas rancher and lawyer who left his calves unbranded in the late 1800s, Samuel A. Maverick.At first glance, Mr. Biden’s support in most of South Texas appears solid. He carried all four of the counties that make up the Rio Grande Valley region, next door to Zapata County. But a closer look reveals the emerging Democratic challenge on the border. Mr. Trump broadened his support in all four, plus in other border counties. In one of those communities, rural Starr County, Mrs. Clinton won in 2016 by 60 percentage points. On Tuesday, Mr. Biden carried it by just five.South Texas has long been a place where a lot of people are politically liberal but culturally conservative. The flipping of Zapata County was one of many Republican victories in a state that Mr. Trump carried. But it stunned Democrats and reflected their enduring struggle in the country’s largest conservative-led state. Not only do Democrats have a problem surging forward, they may be going backward in places.“When I was running, I’d get 85 percent in Zapata County — and Trump carried it,” said Garry Mauro, 72, a Democrat and former state land commissioner who was the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Texas in 2016. “The idea that Trump, who has been so overtly racist about Hispanics in particular, was able to do so well has got to be a failure of our party not having a message.”In the postelection aftermath, a changing Texas remained largely unchanged.- Advertisement – Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 4:37 a.m. ET “When I would tell people I helped a friend sell air fresheners in the shape of Trump’s head, I would apologize because I supported Trump,” said Anna Holcomb, 55, a Latina and former oil-field administrative assistant who lives in Zapata, the county seat. Mr. Trump’s support in that context was not surprising.“I believe that many Mexican-Americans who ordinarily vote Democratic are attracted to his personality,” said State Senator Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat who is Mexican-American and whose district includes Zapata County. “He’s very strong here. I don’t find him appealing but I’m fascinated by his appeal to so many Texans.”The town of Zapata lies along five traffic lights on Highway 83.Halloween decorations, hay bales and pumpkins were still up on a highway plaza in the aftermath of the election this week. Payday loan, auto parts and pawn shops outnumber gas stations and restaurants. The gentle western slope down to the Rio Grande gives residents spectacular sunsets and views of Mexico. In town and on the more rural roads around the county, where Border Patrol agents can be seen on hilltops gazing through binoculars across the river, there were an equal number of Trump signs and Biden signs.Two of the few orchestrated Trump events in Zapata happened in September, when stickers and signs were handed out at a local restaurant and a “Trump Train” caravan rode through town.But they did not draw huge crowds, and even now, some people who supported him said they feared retaliation for speaking out.last_img read more

Why Southwest Says Soft Skills Reign Supreme

first_img Business Consultant Performance Southwest Airlines Company Dallas, TX 4.3★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 4.3★ 23 hours ago 23h 4.3★ View More Jobs 4.3★ Operations Agent Southwest Airlines Company San Jose, CA 4.3★ 4.3★ Hot Southwest Airlines Jobs For You Ground Support Equipment Mechanic Southwest Airlines Company Denver, CO Sr Project Manager Southwest Airlines Company Dallas, TX Ramp Agent Supervisor Southwest Airlines Company Oakland, CA 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Sr Database Administrator – Data Warehouse Modeling & Design Southwest Airlines Company Dallas, TX 23 hours ago 23h Ramp Agent-Part-Time Southwest Airlines Company Pittsburgh, PA 4.3★ For the tenth consecutive year, Southwest Airlines has been recognized by the Employees’ Choice Awards as one of the 2019 Best Places to Work. Thousands of Southwest employees from Dallas to Des Moines to the Dominican Republic have lauded the company for its opportunities for career growth, exceptional company culture and unbeatable perks. Ranking 10th overall among large U.S. employers and #1 among airlines, Southwest credits their Glassdoor award win to one thing: employee feedback. Being able to hear team members early and often has ensured that the executive leadership and managers can consistently improve experiences. “When it comes to engagement, an astounding percentage of our Employees describe their career at Southwest as a calling,” says Greg Muccio, Director of People at Southwest. “Not a stepping stone. Not a job. A calling.”It’s a source of pride for him, and one of the main reasons Muccio has been with the airline for nearly 18 years. Because Southwest is focused on its people, hiring is a top priority. And while other companies may place technical skills over traits like conflict resolution and dependability, for Southwest, Muccio says, those soft skills are essential.“Instead of calling them soft skills, I would actually call them essential skills,” he says. “Some of the most crucial of these skills include: communication, teamwork, leadership, relationship-building, balance, reliability and dependability.”He continues, “We are known for our values that make up what we call ‘Living the Southwest Way.’ Those are a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart and a Fun-LUVing Attitude. We challenge our Recruiting Team to only hire candidates who embody all three of these core values. It is the criteria on which we measure our employees, so the majority of our [interview] questions revolve around these three things.”Read on to hear more about how soft skills and the ability to positively interact with customers could make you a perfect fit for a job at Southwest. Plus, learn what Muccio says is in store for the future of aviation and hiring.Glassdoor: Congratulations on the win again this year — Southwest has won 10 times now! What does it mean to have Southwest employees honor the company as a 2019 Best Place to Work?Greg Muccio: This recognition is especially meaningful because it comes from our own employees. In fact, our internal celebration of this honor will say “We’re #10 because of the #1 employees in the business.” We were founded on — and have maintained — a people-centric philosophy, and our People are at the forefront of every decision we make. We are focused on being the best place to work, and to be recognized for an unmatched 10 consecutive years by our employees and Glassdoor is validation that our efforts are paying off. Glassdoor: What are two or three steps your company has taken within the last year to double down on company culture, employee engagement and employee feedback that may have led to this win?Greg Muccio: We take our employees’ feedback very seriously. In addition to our comprehensive annual employee survey, which drives action plans for improvement, we also now send quarterly surveys for a real-time pulse check. We want to offer our employees more frequent touchpoints to provide their feedback, which gives us the opportunity to consistently enhance their experience. When it comes to engagement, an astounding percentage of our employees describe their career at Southwest as ‘a calling.’ Not a stepping stone. Not a job. A calling. We also introduced paid parental leave, a benefit our Employees really wanted. This allows the mother, father or both (we have many “LUV Couples,” or Employees who are married) to care for and bond with their new addition during the baby’s first year of life. When big decisions are made, it’s not unusual for our CEO Gary Kelly and other senior leaders to ask, “What does this mean for employees?” before making a decision. We are always asking the questions “How can we care for our employees?” and “How can we improve their experience?”Best Places to WorkGlassdoor: This award speaks volumes about the company, but also signals to job seekers that this is an amazing place to work. Why should job seekers apply for an open role at Southwest? What are two to three benefits, practices or traditions that are unique to your company?Greg Muccio: When you think of a career at an airline, many candidates are excited about the free flights. And those are definitely a nice perk! But our culture is what sets us apart. What you read about Southwest will never be able to fully capture the heart of our employee experience. Regardless of the position, I think we do a really good job of providing purpose in our work—a shared cause to rally around.  And, speaking of rallying… each year, we spend the month of February hosting Southwest Rallies in some of our cities. Part state-of-the-union, part family reunion and party, this event is like none other. It’s an opportunity for our employees to hear from our senior-most leaders on the direction of the company, ask questions and of course, have fun.Sure, we offer great benefits. We invest in our employees. Our financial rewards include 44 consecutive years of profit sharing payments, with our 2017 contribution coming in at $543 million to our employees. We have a generous 401(k) match. And, we offer high-quality and low-cost medical benefit packages that truly provide safety and security for our employees and their families — this is a comforting feeling.We also encourage employees to get involved with causes they’re passionate about. Employees are encouraged to volunteer for causes that matter most to them, and Southwest supports them through our Tickets for Time program by donating round-trip tickets to nonprofits based on employee volunteer hours. Plus, we offer several volunteer opportunities throughout the year to allow employees to make a difference with their Southwest Family. In 2017, [Employees] logged an astounding 180,000 volunteer hours!There are too many fun and quirky things about working at Southwest to list here, but we rounded up a list of a few of our favorites if you want to take a look.” Glassdoor: Glassdoor is all about transparency and helping people everywhere find a job and company they love. What insights can you share about the interview process at Southwest? What types of questions do you ask, and what kind of soft skills do you look for?Greg Muccio: First and foremost, it is not a cliché when we ask candidates to be themselves in an interview. We genuinely desire that. Southwest is not a place where you have to separate your true self from your work environment self. We want you to bring your passions to our company to ensure this is the right fit. We are known for our values that make up what we call ‘Living the Southwest Way.’ Those are a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart and a Fun-LUVing Attitude. We challenge our recruiting team to only hire candidates who embody all three of these core values. It is the criteria on which we measure our employees, so the majority of our questions revolve around these three things.Instead of calling them soft skills, I would actually call them essential skills. Some of the most crucial of these skills include: communication, teamwork, leadership, relationship-building, balance, reliability and dependability.How to Prepare for a Behavioral InterviewGlassdoor: How do you screen candidates to ensure that they will be engaged and have that Fun-LUVing Attitude?Greg Muccio: I challenge our recruiters to not be afraid to present to a hiring department a candidate who may not have all the hard skills they want, but who truly displays all of our core values. We can train for skill, but attitude is a bit harder to teach. On the flip side of that, they should never consider someone who is not a Southwest fit. We are going to spend as much energy seeking to understand each candidate’s attitude as we do identifying his/her hard skills. Engagement is a two-way street, and this process helps us hire candidates who are already living the Southwest way and exemplifying our values.Glassdoor: Southwest has long been a partner of Glassdoor’s. How are you using our platform to attract the types of candidates you’re looking for?Greg Muccio: We share Glassdoor’s commitment to transparency, both for our customers and for our job candidates. For our customers, it means treating customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Bags fly free and there are no change fees. Likewise, we are transparent about our positions and our hiring process. It is important for people to fully understand the elements of each job. We want people to know the benefits and the challenges, because it will provide a more realistic viewpoint of each role.For example, part of working on the ramp is being outside. If you don’t enjoy physical work in unpredictable climates, we want you to have the opportunity to determine, ‘this isn’t the right position for me.’  Some elements of a job will never change, and people deserve to know them on the front end. 25 Best Jobs at the Best Places to WorkGlassdoor: You’ve been with Southwest for almost two decades. What keeps you engaged? How can other employers retain top-notch employees like you? Greg Muccio: I’ve been here for 17.5 years. It really is the people I work with who make coming to work each day enjoyable. I also appreciate the challenging work that I get to tackle in my role. Overall, I’m motivated by the mission of Southwest and getting to be a part of something that is so much bigger than me.Glassdoor: What’s next for Southwest?Greg Muccio: Well, we’re very excited because Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals. It’s astounding to see how this little airline from Texas has evolved into the nation’s largest domestic carrier! Specific to careers, we have a very heavy focus in 2019 to continue to enhance our candidate experience, both internally and externally. We are focused on making our application processes more transparent and efficient.Glassdoor: Looking ahead to 2019, how can job seekers get prepared for the future of work in the aviation industry?Greg Muccio: As a whole, the industry’s big focus is on innovation. At the micro level, innovation is centered on each airline’s customers and employees. On the macro level, it means staying competitive with other airlines. Airlines are asking more for more support from the government in relation to innovative opportunities. To be successful in this industry, one must be agile and able to manage large volumes of change. There are many variables that are outside of our control that impact our operations, so there is more pressure to adapt. Change is constant in the airline industry. Sr Project Manager-Crew Solutions Southwest Airlines Company Dallas, TX 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Ramp Agent Southwest Airlines Company Fort Lauderdale, FL 4.3★ Supervisor Tech Ops Supply Chain Southwest Airlines Company Dallas, TX 4.3★ 4.3★last_img read more