On Jan. 18, in collaboration with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and Central Texas College (CTC), Windham School District participated in the women’s Skills Demonstration and Career Expo at the Crain and Hilltop campuses in Gatesville.
Through this opportunity, approximately 60 students from TDCJ’s Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Logistics Division, CTC and Windham were able to network with approximately 14 different industry representatives from across the state, showcasing the skills they’ve learned through Windham’s Culinary, Electrical, Truck Driving and Welding career and technical education (CTE) programs.
“Windham School District is excited to give students the opportunity to present their talents and knowledge to a wide range of employers across a multitude of industries,” Windham School District Superintendent Kristina J. Hartman said. “The district looks forward to increasing these events in collaboration with TDCJ and local colleges to not only provide critical resources for our students preparing to return to Texas communities, but to also aid in filling industry employment shortages with energetic, trained, qualified candidates.”
Demonstrations included women portraying their electrical trade skills, truck driver program participants engaging with the newly integrated truck driving simulator, welding presentations, a meal prepared and served by culinary arts students and much more. Along with this exhibition of skills, employers were given the opportunity to interact openly with students, providing them with recruitment resources, interview tips and industry information. Formal job interviews also took place at the Skills Demonstration and Career Expo. An interview room was available for employers to speak directly with students being considered for employment in their prospective trades.
“We are honored to have welcomed industry experts to our campuses to view our students’ skills firsthand. Our students have worked diligently in their programs and appreciated the opportunity to showcase their talents in preparation for securing employment upon reentry,” Windham Central Texas Regional Principal Azure Mach said.
With more than 40 CTE programs across 11 career clusters, Windham provides students with realistic and hands-on instruction, with curriculum developed to meet industry needs. The district partners with several postsecondary institutions, like Central Texas College, as well as the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, to offer students the opportunity to earn industry-based certifications and prepare for licenses that correlate with workforce demands. In the 2021-2022 school year alone, 17,634 industry certificates were earned by Windham students, aiding students to develop career pathways as they prepare to return to their communities.
Windham, TDCJ and Lee College held a Skills Demonstration and Career Expo for men in October 2022 at the Wynne campus in Huntsville. By expanding similar skills demonstration events across the state, the district aims to provide the knowledge and tools students need in order to be confident in their abilities, further increasing students’ employability and contributing to the growth of the Texas workforce.
Windham School District (WSD) provides academic, career and technical education, and life skills programs to eligible individuals within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). WSD serves a unique population of individuals who were unable to complete their basic education in the past and others who need technical training and soft skills to better equip them for the future. With 85 campuses located in TDCJ facilities across Texas, WSD strives to prepare students with the necessary education and skills to successfully reenter the workforce within their communities.