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Consortium Breaks New Ground

Many colleges work with industry leaders and local school districts to train students for good jobs and careers in their region. A good example, recently profiled by Michel Bratten in Community College Daily, is at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. Please have a look.

The consortium there has a formal structure, which may be of interest to those in the field of workforce education. The piece also gets into financing, which is complicated but very encouraging. Del Mar’s group is formalizing prior work in welding, industrial instrumentation, and process technology. From the article:

“Del Mar College is the hub and the school districts are the spokes in the wheel,” said Paul Clore, Gregory-Portland ISD superintendent. “All of us will be looking to Del Mar to identify the skills and programs we should be providing so that we do things in the right order as we go forward.”

Created under inter-local agreement, the consortium provides an organized structure that will help the ISDs work more closely together to develop career and technical programs that precisely meet industry needs.

The college recently helped a local ISD get a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission for a certified nurse aide (CNA) program at Odem High School. You can get details from the piece.

Welding, for instance, is a hot (no pun intended) career right now where there are lots of pipelines and refineries, as in Corpus Christi Bay. Other regions might have different areas of concentration in health care, construction. or renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Importantly, the programs described in the article involve dual credit to a high degree, allowing students to be hired right out of high school. Then the students often go on to the college for further training, ideally resulting in subsequent promotions.