What will differentiate WorkTexas from other secondary and post-secondary training programs is the close focus and partnership with industry. WorkTexas primarily will be accountable to its industry partners to ensure the curriculum and teaching align completely with the needs of its industry partners. WorkTexas will accomplish this focus by involving the partners directly in both curriculum development and enhancement, as well as in selecting and training the teachers who will deliver the instruction.
The two measurable outcomes for each student are to 1) graduate from high school (if he/she hasn’t already) with an offer of employment from an employer for full-time work in the industry of choice, and 2) ensure each individual remains employed and is advancing in his/her field of choice beyond six months from program completion.
We Coordinate Strategic Resources for Success
To accomplish these outcomes, WorkTexas operationalizes these four strategic resources:
A blended approach to Career Technical Education (CTE), which includes dedicated staff and quality curriculum (provided both digitally and on paper) as well as support through an integrated dashboard. This blended approach, provided by the Premier High School curriculum and infused with NCCER, state of Texas TEKS-aligned standards, allows a student to pursue his/her academic studies with the support of a caring knowledgeable adult and the use of technology to allow for a more flexible time schedule. This, in turn, creates time for in-the-field CTE internships and paid apprenticeships as well. Work-study does not need to be a post-secondary experience; it can happen at the upper high school level, too.
Industry partners who realize that employers need to take a more active role in creating a qualified, sustainable workforce. These partners will work with WorkTexas to create digital badging curriculum to allow students to stack competencies and skills required in a particular sector or possibly multiple sectors. The partners will also give feedback on the curriculum and the way in which the material is taught, thus ensuring industry partner satisfaction remains the focus and priority for WorkTexas outcomes.
WorkTexas will work with CMEF and industry partners to provide teachers in the relevant CTE classes, provide space in their own business for on-the-job CTE classes via unpaid internships and paid apprenticeships (work-study), and provide paid part time jobs outside of school hours to the students until graduation. For the industry partners, this work provides them with detailed screening time to know which candidates they want to hire full time and direct control over the training to ensure their new hires are equipped with the skills they need to be effective immediately upon employment. This partnership eliminates the “middle-man” challenge of employers waiting and hoping for K-12 and Higher Education to prepare students successfully to be productive employees who contribute quality in the workplace.
WorkTexas will have community partners that help instill the life skills along with the technical skills in ALL classes. Instead of one class that provides “employability skills,” Work Texas will ensure the virtues and life skills continue to spiral in the curriculum in all classes, and WorkTexas will follow-up with industry partners to evaluate the students in apprenticeships to ensure these life lessons are being demonstrated in the field. Where they are not, those life lessons will be vigorously retaught to the students until they are retained, given the ultimate accountability for WorkTexas is the satisfaction of the industry partners.
Thrive Center wrap-around supports will ensure that our students are not one flat tire away from disaster. Between the social services, behavioral health, and financial empowerment services all delivered in a case management format, WorkTexas and Thrive will follow up with students until it is clear they can stand on their own and are ready to be independent, contributing members to their family, to their employer, and to society. Gallery Furniture is also renovating part of the retail space to include a childcare that will be available to Gallery Furniture employees as well as people who have babies and toddlers and are in need of childcare to get trained in the classes.
WorkTexas, a new 501c3 non-profit, initially will have one location for the Houston area at Gallery Furniture at 6006 North Freeway, with satellite campuses planned for the future. The target student population will be high school age and older, who are looking to learn the specific skills necessary to obtain a job, keep that job, and advance in their career. Students younger than 16 will have the opportunity to shadow various industry professions (to determine their interest), as well as focus on the academics needed to graduate from high school. Training will also be available to older individuals as well who do not need or want a high school degree. Learn more about our industry partners…
Help WorkTexas staff classes, and supply trade equipment and materials as we help our students become workforce ready.