Texas State Representative. seeks to improve partnerships between community colleges, the workforce

TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) – Discussions are underway in Texarkana to improve the workforce in smaller communities across the state of Texas. Some say the answer lies in partnerships between community colleges and high schools.

“If they graduate from high school with a diploma, they’re ahead of other students,” Texas State Rep. Gary VanDeaver said.

Some high school students from throughout the Texarkana area attend classes at the Texarkana Community College campus. These students receive double credits, which means that by the time they graduate from high school, they will also have accumulated college hours. Many say this method of education is necessary to meet labor needs in rural Texas.

“And they have these students coming out of high school, taking dual credit courses, reading to get into the workforce,” Rep. VanDeaver said.

Representative VanDeaver met with local business and education leaders on Friday, October 14 to discuss ways to improve the Texas workforce and dual credit opportunities provided by educational institutions like the Texarkana Community College.

“A vast majority of our jobs today require something above a high school diploma. Not everything requires a four-year college degree, so workforce development is very important. They can come here and get degrees and certifications that can qualify them for high-paying jobs,” Rep. VanDeaver said.

Data shows that 54% of jobs in Texas are considered intermediate skills, meaning they require a post-secondary degree beyond high school, but only 45% of Texans are sufficiently trained for these types of skills. jobs.

“Community college is the key. I believe that our workforce development is what it should be, that these students are being trained and truly serving the needs of the community, keeping the economic engine running,” the rep said. .

The results of Friday’s meeting will be shared during the 2023 Texas legislative session.

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