Austin, Texas – Workforce Solutions Capital Area, in partnership with Austin Independent School District, as well as Austin Energy and the City of Austin, held a ceremony inspired by athletic signing events on April 25 to spotlight students pursuing careers and technical education upon graduation. The ceremony was part of Texas Career Signing Day, a statewide initiative to recognize and celebrate high school students choosing to enter career pathways leading to in-demand, high skills careers and occupations directly from high school.
Held at Austin Energy, this year’s Career and Technical Education Signing Day was attended by nearly 50 students from Austin ISD, each pledging their career readiness by committing to earning career certifications toward targeted occupations, an applied learning opportunity like an internship or apprenticeship, a full-time employment opportunity or continued learning with a local training provider.
Employers who participated in the CTE Scholar Program and were present to congratulate students who were committing to join their workforce included Austin Parks & Recreation, Caliber Collision, Independent Electrical Contractors, Local 286 Plumbers and Pipefitters, St. David’s HealthCare, Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital, Universal Technical Institute and Walgreens.
“We’re not here to talk about jobs, we’re here to talk about careers,” Eric Peralez, Training Director at Independent Electrical Contractors, said. “The construction market is in high demand and there is currently a labor shortage. These students will earn while they learn, with the opportunity to make yearly salaries of $65,000 to $75,000 upon graduation. This lessens the burden on mom and dad and their child can graduate debt-free.”
“This opportunity means a lot to me because it will give me a way to financially support myself,” Kaithlyn Mejia, a student at Navarro Early College High School who signed a letter of intent with IEC, said. “I’m excited to expand the percentage of women in the industry because there aren’t a lot of us.”
Tyler Walsh, a graduate of the City of Austin Fleet Mobility Service Internship Program, shared that he went from making pretzels at the mall to working on our city’s fire trucks and ambulances. “It’s inspiring to see not only students who are about to embark on this journey, but to also hear from students who have completed their programs and are now well established in their careers,” Dr. Fannin, Executive Director of ECHS, PTECH and CTE at AISD, said.
Workforce Solutions Capital Area is the non-profit organization that serves as the leadership and governing body for the Austin/Travis County area workforce system. They are responsible for the planning, oversight, and evaluation of workforce development activities in the Capital Area and were awarded the Champion for CTE award during the event. The award goes to thought leaders making a significant impact on the improvement and expansion of the CTE program. WFS has served hundreds of AISD teachers, counselors and students in the classroom through career advising and presentations over the last two years alone.
“We take seriously our commitment to connecting local people to real world, local jobs and thank AISD for the partnership and honor,” Jessica Garay, Director of Career Awareness and K-12 Partnerships at Workforce Solutions Capital Area, said. “The students we are celebrating today will go on to build the future of Austin.”
For more information about WFS and career readiness opportunities, please visit wfscapitalarea.com.