Commission shows pathway for students to take on jobs in demand in future


April 27, 2010 at 4:05 p.m.
Updated April 26, 2010 at 11:27 p.m.

About 35,000 jobs are projected to be created between 2008 and 2018 in six industries in this region.

Such industries include construction, energy, education, healthcare, tourism and manufacturing, said Henry Guajardo at the Crossroads Commission on Education meeting Tuesday.

These jobs, which make up 42 percent of the region's total employment, will require a college education, he said.

"You can see that post-secondary education is going to be quite demanding," Guajardo said. "But, of course, as technology advances, these percentages will very well increase in the future."

Of the 35,000 jobs, about 9,000 of them are expected in the Golden Crescent, and 26,000 are expected for the Coastal Bend, said Guajardo, executive director for the Texas Workforce Solutions - Golden Crescent.

The information he presented was based on partnered research the Texas Workforce did last year with Jim Lee, an economics professor at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.

In August, the Victoria school district's Advanced Learning Center will open and offer college preparatory courses for students.

In the past, some students have not been able to take advanced courses because not enough students enroll in those classes, said Bob Moore, VISD superintendent.

Students from Victoria East High School and Victoria West High School will take classes together at the Advanced Learning Center.

"One of the real problems across the country is that students don't receive advanced programs because of low numbers," Moore said. "But by bringing them together in one location, we're able to provide those advanced learning opportunities to prepare those students to go to college or technical school."

Some Victoria school district courses offered next school year will include environmental science, automotive technology, engineering design and problem solving, video game design, robotics and graphic design, Moore said.

Students can then use the skills they develop in these advanced and career and technology courses once they enter college through Victoria College and University of Houston - Victoria, said Tom Butler, president of Victoria College.

The school district, VC and UHV are in the process of creating visual drafts of career pathways for area jobs in demand.

These charts will show high school and college students what job and salary they'd get based on how much education they pursue, Butler said.

"The beauty of this for the community is that it tells us what we're losing if students don't continue to progress," Butler said. "It also tells us as a community what we're missing out on if we don't do the things that are going to encourage the kinds of post-secondary education we know students need."



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