This summer, Workforce Solutions Capital Area partnered with local school districts and employers from various industries for the third annual Teacher Externship Program.

Why it matters: Our program strengthens relationships with local school districts to connect with the next generation of skilled talent. We connect industry to the classroom, supporting students in developing in-demand academic and technical skills for today’s workforce.

How it started: In 2019, WFS served 50 Austin ISD educators in an in-person capacity. In 2021 and 2022, WFS coordinated a hybrid externship with in-person and virtual options for educators and employers in the Travis County area. This year’s program had about double the number of educators served the first year, thanks to relationships cultivated by our career and education outreach specialists.

2022 Teacher Externship Program, by the numbers:

99 teachers and counselors connected with three-day externships. Districts represented include Austin, Cypress, Del Valle, Eanes, Elgin, Manor, and Pflugerville. Schools represented include Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Goodwill’s Excel Center.

28 employers hosted teachers. Employers include those represented on WFS’ board, such as Ascension Seton, Athena Manufacturing, and more.

Courtesy: Texas Film Commission

How it works: During the externship, the employer host provides a teacher or counselor with the opportunity to observe and speak to employees and management about the skills, certifications, and career pathways within the employer host’s organization. Through a partnership with Nepris, WFS purchased licenses for career exploration software for teachers who do not have access to it through their ISDs.

We also leveraged Texas Workforce Commission funding to provide $500 stipends to each educator who participated. After completing their externships, the teachers must create lesson plans based on their experiences for use in the classroom.

What they’re saying:

  • Kerrica Laake, Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City of Austin: “Our teams had a great experience working with the teachers. It was fun for our teams to showcase what they do to support the citizens of Austin. The conversation with the teachers was engaging and informative.”
  • Hailey Dallas, Human Resources Coordinator at Hotel Granduca Austin: “I am hopeful the teachers were able to learn a lot about hospitality. They all asked great questions and were super eager to learn. We were super grateful to have them!”
  • Kathy Blankenship, Pflugerville ISD: “I can’t even begin to list everything I learned! Employability expectations, the importance of soft skills, the many ways to enter these fields…the list goes on.”
  • Stacey Jackson, Manor ISD: “The employer component was outstanding. I learned the value in sharing all the opportunities that our scholars have beyond just believing they need to go to a college/university to have the job of their dreams or their choice.”

What’s next: WFS is already recruiting for the summer of 2023! Employers can learn more and sign up here.

Thank you to our 2022 Teacher Externship employer partners:


  • American Constructors

  • Applied Materials

  • Ascension Seton

  • Athena Manufacturing

  • Baylor Scott and White HealthCare

  • Brandt

  • Carr Lane Manufacturing

  • City of Austin

  • Austin Public Health

  • Austin Civilian Conservation Corps

  • Communications and Technology Management

  • Economic Development

  • Continental Automotive Group

  • enChoice

  • Hotel Granduca Austin

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 520

  • Local 286 Plumbers and Pipefitters

  • Lone Star Electrician Construction Trades

  • PSI Urethanes

  • Radiant Plumbing

  • Rosendin Electric

  • Samsung Austin Semiconductor

  • Senox Corporation

  • St. David’s HealthCare

  • TCS Mechanical

  • Texas Film Commission

  • Texas State Supported Living Center

  • Texas State Technical College

  • Young and Pratt

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