Texas Workforce and Education Forum Meets in Amarillo

Texas Workforce and Education Forum Meets in Amarillo
Superintendent Rod Schroder and Texas Education Commissioner Michael WilliamsRod Schroder and Michael Williams
Photo courtesy of Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.

March 31, 2014
– Education and business leaders from the Amarillo area met Thursday, March 27, to discuss better preparing students for success in the workforce. The meeting, officially called the Amarillo-Lubbock Regional Workforce and Education Forum, is one in a series of stops made by leaders in state agencies to discuss needs in communities across Texas.

According to Gary Molberg, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, the group was gathered together in efforts to improve workforce preparedness for students in our area. AISD Superintendent Rod Schroder joined area superintendents and school officials in the meeting with business, higher education and state agency leaders. Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar, Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board David Gardner, and Executive Director of Educate Texas John Fitzpatrick were in attendance.

“It’s symbolic that these groups – school districts, higher education and businesses – are coming together for the first time,” Schroder said. “The education commissioner was able to view schools at every level in our district and witness instructional practice and the emphasis we place on college through programs like No Excuses University.”

New graduation plans, which will be implemented next school year in Amarillo and districts across Texas, will give students the opportunity to explore their career interests while taking core curriculum. By choosing supplemental coursework in a chosen endorsement – Arts and Humanities, Business and Industry, Multidisciplinary, Public Services, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – students will learn more about job options in particular fields of work and be better prepared to narrow their interests when it comes time to apply for college and technical schools.

“Business leaders talked about the importance of teaching soft skills in school, such as customer service, communicating with others, and being on time to work,” Schroder said. “Having these groups come together reinforces our school district goals which are ultimately to educate students so they may be successful community members.”

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