Business leaders, public education leaders, higher education leaders, and community leaders work together to promote engaging, purposeful events to ultimately benefit today’s students, guiding them to become employable people tomorrow. Annual programs and events include:
Workforce Readiness Conference
The Annual Workforce Readiness Conference aims to break down barriers and bridge gaps between education and workforce. The conference is designed to bring together business leaders and educators together from across the Central Texas Region for an interactive, conversation style event giving business leaders the opportunity to let educators know the needs of employment today.
The regional high school Career Fairs expose students to local career training options in the Central Texas College and Temple College Service Areas. This exposure assists with making informed decisions for continued education leading to successful transition into the workforce upon graduation. Students can speak with industry professionals and participate in hands-on activity sessions. Additionally, students have opportunity to learn about the importance of applying for scholarships, understand articulation agreements, and prepare for college application and registration. Parents are also invited to attend to learn about and complete the FAFSA and learn about additional financial aid opportunities.
The Central Texas Teacher Externship Program gives teachers an understanding of business and industry-based work requirements, so they can develop and revise curriculum that links classroom learning with real-world work demands. To accomplish this goal, the Central Texas P-20 Regional Council selects middle and high school teachers to participate in the externship program for 4.5 days during the summer. Three (3) days are dedicated to job shadowing and hands-on business and industry-based work experiences. Teachers invest the remaining time training for their externship experience and wrapping it up by designing updated, relevant lesson plans for the classroom. Upon returning to the classroom, they integrate their newfound worksite understandings into their teaching. They also present results from their classroom experiences at local P-20, Workforce Board, or School Board meetings during the fall. The model promotes a first-hand understanding of business and industry-based work and inspires educators to create curriculum-based, work-related educational opportunities for the classroom setting.
College and Career Night
The Central Texas Regional College and Career Night is a Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (TACRAO) Fair with representatives from approximately 200 colleges and universities from Texas and around the country. The representatives provide information about their college and university programs, admissions, and financial aid. The event is held in September each year and gives parents and students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from various colleges, universities, and trade schools. High school counselors are also available to assist students and parents. In addition to the 200+ colleges represented at the annual College and Career event, more than 20 business and industry representatives are represented to bring awareness to high demand occupations. Employers include representatives from healthcare, manufacturing, public sector areas (police, fire, education), technology, and many others. Interesting and interactive displays allow students to explore high-demand, high-skill, high wage jobs in the Central Texas region and learn what steps to take to attain these jobs. Students and parents leave College and Career Night with a clear, relevant connection between education and workplace success.
Events for business leaders and educators to develop conversations and relationships around workforce, legislative and curriculum needs are an important of Central Texas P20 programming. Though informal these events are designed to connect leaders to each other’s needs and further each other’s business by forming mutually beneficial relationships.