2019 Jan 9: The Role of Rockdale ISD Career and Technical Education in Improving Local Economy

Opportunities for Rockdale High School students continue to grow each year. The need for skilled labor workers continues to increase, and Rockdale ISD is committed to provide as much as possible to meet the needs for our state and local community. This week Mrs. Britina Pesak has important information regarding the Labor Market for Rockdale as well as the rest of Texas.

According to The Labor Market & Career Information Department (LMCI) of the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas' unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent and holding, a historic low. For Milam County, the percent is only a bit higher, sitting at 4.8 percent (LMCI, 2019). With these small rates, it may seem that jobs would be lucrative, and hard to find with the vast majority of sought after jobs being filled by workers before a notice can be posted. But ask many employers in the area and the job market managers will tell you there are many jobs available. It is skilled employees that are hard to find.

Texas Labor Market Projections for Central Texas for a ten year period expect significant growth in healthcare, information technology, construction, business and administration, education, and manufacturing. All of these areas include not only a significant increase in the number of jobs expected to open annually, but in the percentage of growth as well.

Enter the role of the local High School, a premier college and career readiness curriculum, and Career and Technical Education (CTE). This is not your mother’s first period study hall, and definitely not your father’s wood shop. The rigor of the CTE classroom has been raised to meet the needs of all students to focus on high-skill, high-wage occupations whether that leads to a four-year degree or a 6-month certification post-graduation.

In order to ensure Rockdale ISD is preparing students for post-secondary success in a career in which they can expect to find quality employment, it is important to partner with local businesses and community members to implement high-quality programs.

Our construction and manufacturing (welding) program students often work with local builders to listen to the experts and hone their craft while building road-quality trailers, building tiny homes, and earning industry certifications.

Until recently, our health science students had been observing surgeries, learning patient care, and beginning the final stages of earning the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification. With the close of the hospital, we will be seeking other prospects for learning, but are glad to have had the opportunity to work with the Hospital.

In each of the other Program Areas, we also work with great businesses across Rockdale and Milam County to grow our students as citizens and future employees by developing pathways to desired certifications and potential onsite work studies. We believe all of these partnerships are the key to working together to improve the local economy.

Please contact me, Britina Pesak, Director of CTE (Career and Technical Education) at bpesak@rockdaleisd.net or 512-430-6027 if you would like to find out more about any of our CTE programs!

SOURCE: Texas Labor Market and Career Information Department online. https://tracer2.com (January 2019).