LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina College and Texas Workforce Solutions hosted a workshop for school districts. Twenty-two districts attended the workshop to gain information on grant opportunities available to address East Texas employment Initiatives for school district.
Organizer Jennifer Baldauf with AC’s dual credit program says a recent study by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Education Agency shows not many high school grads from the area are going to college.
During the 2017-2018 school year 47 percent of Angelina County and 52 percent in Nacogdoches County students did not enroll in further schooling after graduation.
Baldauf says her concern lies on finding solutions for the bottom 20 percent of student graduates.
“The ones that are not necessarily as academically inclined or they just don’t feel the need for college or their cultural expectation is that you don’t go so i met with workforce solutions. We’re both trying to the same thing,” Baldauf said.
Those alternatives for students who choose a career path straight out of high school include vocational, technology and medical programs school districts can implement in schools through grants.
“The biggest thing is just the linking education with employers and what we’ve seen is a change in the structure of our school districts. our districts are aligning their education to the needs of the industry which is then also including our economic development,” said Mark Durand, Executive Director with The Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas.
Nacogdoches ISD Career and Technology Director Don Hasley says they’re exploring ways to tap into careers students drawn to such as the medical industry.
“We’re looking expand our medical side so that we can get our kids, you know, jobs when they get out of high school. and we’re having some success right now but we’re looking to expand that opportunity,” Hasley said.
The grant funding initiative is to inform school officials about the available grant opportunities school districts have to implement vocational, continuing education and technology based programs.
The employment initiatives gives school districts a member of the Texas Workforce Solution at the school district educating students and what’s available at their disposal.