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Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas

Career Pathways

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Workforce Challenge

Rentech Boiler Systems Inc., like many manufacturers, was having a difficult time attracting young workers despite the pay, benefits and career options. Most of the jobs don’t require a 4-year degree and they knew that youth would enjoy the work, if they just understood more about the opportunities. Field trips and numerous classroom presentations weren’t feasible due to safety concerns and time restraints. What they needed was a faster, more meaningful way to connect with large numbers of youth.

Workforce Solution

Working with local school district personnel and employers, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas designed a program to help Rentech and other employers create a workforce pipeline for their often-overlooked jobs. The program was called Career Pathways. Workforce Solutions added a new Career Consultant position to organize Career Pathway events, develop career resources specific to the region, and provide group and individualized career counseling. The Career Pathway events were held on high school campuses during regular school hours and allowed students to explore a variety of local career options, most requiring less than a 4 year degree. Typically, 15 – 20 employers were able to interact with small groups of students throughout the day to discuss skill and education requirements, the workplace environment, expected salaries and career opportunities.

Outcomes & Benefits

In less than 3 years, over 10,000 students from across the 19-county region have been reached through one of 26 Career Pathway events or 30 career presentations. Over 60 different employers and all local community and technical colleges have participated in these events. Workforce Solutions also developed one-page guides for each of the 16 career clusters that identify training and career opportunities within the region. The guides are available online and can be customized by local school districts. This collaborative effort between Workforce Solutions, Career & Technical Education, and Texas employers continues to serve the youth of the state by educating them on available jobs and preparing them for the workforce.

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