Austin History Center

First Workers' Corporation Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: First Workers' Corporation
Title: First Workers' Corporation Records
Inclusive Dates: 1997-2001
Abstract: First Workers Corporation was created by Austin City Council resolution (No. 990722-64) in July 1999 as a local government corporation to oversee the operations of the City's day labor program. The administrative files, meeting agendas and minutes, reports, program files and planning materials in this collection highlight the activities of the corporation from 1999 to 2001.
Identification: AR.2012.019
Quantity: 1.4 linear feet (4 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The First Workers’ Day Labor Center is an employment program that facilitates matching qualified day laborers with employers who need them in Austin, Texas. The First Workers' Corporation was a nonprofit organization under contract with the City of Austin that oversaw the operations of the First Workers' Center. City Council Resolution 990722-64 created the corporation in July 1999, established bylaws and appointed the initial Board of Directors to oversee the corporation. The Center was developed in response to problems with Austin's original day labor program located at the corner of Cesar Chavez and San Antonio Street.

Labor Connections, operated by HOBO under contract with the City of Austin, officially opened at the corner of Cesar Chavez and San Antonio Street on August 1, 1993. In April of 1997, management of the program was transferred to Austin/Travis County Mental Health and Mental Retardation (now Health and Human Services Department). In that same year the Day Labor Task Forces was created to review the day labor program and develop recommendations for improving its safety and program operations. The Task Force evaluated day labor programs from throughout the country, conducted surveys of day laborers and employers and met with key players in the city to collection information on possible improvements. In summer of 1998 the Day Labor Implementation Plan Work group was established to begin implementation of the Task Force's recommendations. The new day labor program opened its doors for operation on August 16, 1999. The new name, First Workers' Center, was meant to reflect the programs change in focus to employment, not social services.

In the end of 2001 the possibility of dissolving the First Workers' Corporation in favor of a City of Austin funded and administered day labor program with an advisory board was discussed. The new policy and advisory board would be absolved of administrative responsibilities; this would cut down on the need of an accountant, payroll system and legal services thus saving the City money. On January 1, 2002 the City of Austin Health and Human Services Department assumed management responsibility for the day labor program and City Council established the Day Labor Community Advisory Committee (Resolution No. 021205-57) to assist with addressing neighborhood concerns, recommend methods to facilitate more employers utilizing the day labor workforce and access the sustainability of the day labor program.

Scope and Contents

The First Workers' Corporation records consists mainly of documents related to the organization, including financial and administrative records, reports, meeting minutes and support materials and operational records. The Administrative Records series (1999-2000) includes bylaws, articles of incorporation, the contract with the City of Austin, policy and procedure documents and the evaluation criteria. The Operational Records series (1999-2001) consists of surveys of the workers, incident reports, neighborhood concerns and information about the ESL program run by Austin Community College. In addition to operational reports submitted to City Council from the Corporation, the Reports series (1997-2001) includes reports written by day labor specialist Lynn Svensson assessing the original day labor program and then evaluating the first few month of the new day labor program, First Worker' Center. The Board of Directors series (1999-2001) contains meeting minutes and supporting materials document the day to day operations of the Center and includes Treasurer's report, Organizer's report, neighborhood and worker's complaints, incidents related to the Center, staffing and any policy or procedure changes.


Arranged into four series:
I. Administrative Records
II. Operational Records
III. Reports
IV. Board of Directors


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Svensson, Lynn.
Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department.
First Workers' Corporation.
Austin (Tex.)
Day laborers -- Texas -- Austin.

Related Material

Archives and Manuscripts - AR.2004.033 Austin (Tex.). Travis County Health & Human Services Department Records

Austin Files - Employment -- Day Labor Centers E1300 (6)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Transferred to the Austin History Center by the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department that now manages the First Workers' Center.

Preferred Citation

First Workers' Corporation Records (AR.2012.019). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: COA transfer

Donation Date: 2012

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.

The organization of the records within the original folders was largely maintained, but the processors created the overall arrangement.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Administrative Records, 1999-2000

Box Folder
1 1 Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, resolution, 1999
2 Contract, 1999
3 Evaluation criteria, 1999
4 Policy and procedure, 2000, undated
5 Survey-day laborers, undated

II. Organizational Records, 1999-2001

Box Folder
1 6 ESL classes (English as a Second Language), 1999-2001
7 Incident reports, 1999-2000
8 Issues, 1999-2001, undated
9 Neighborhood, 1999
10 Police, 2000-2001

III. Reports, 1997-2001

Box Folder
1 11 Planning reports, 1997-1999
12 Operations reports, 1999-2001

IV. Board of Directors, 1999-2001

Box Folder
1 13 Meeting minutes and support materials, 1999 July-August
Box Folder
2 1-5 Meeting minutes and support materials, 1999 October-December - 2000 April-May
Box Folder
3 1-5 Meeting minutes and support materials, 2000 May-December
Box Folder
4 1-4 Meeting minutes and support materials, 2001 January-December