Local teachers connect with area educators for better understanding

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Educators from Bridge City, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Vidor and West Orange Cove school districts recently completed the 2023 Teacher Externship Program.

In all, 60 educators from 14 school districts teamed with 16 employers as host sites.

The Teacher Externship Program aimed to enhance educators’ understanding of industry trends and needs by immersing them in real-world work environments. Participating teachers spent their week working alongside professionals in various sectors, gaining firsthand knowledge of the skills, technologies and practices that drive local industries.

This immersive experience empowered educators to better align their instructional methods with the demands of the job market.

Throughout the program, teachers engaged in meaningful projects and tasks at the host sites, representing diverse industries such as petrochemical, healthcare, manufacturing, maritime and more.

By witnessing firsthand how their subject areas translated into real-world applications, educators enhanced their instructional techniques, developed relevant curriculum content, and found inspiration to guide students towards relevant careers.

At the end of their week-long experience, educators received a $1,000 stipend for participating. They were required to submit a lesson plan and presentation to demonstrate what they learned and how they plan to bring the information back to their classrooms to teach the students about in-demand careers at the job sites they visited.

By participating in the program, employers demonstrated their commitment to building strong partnerships with educational institutions and investing in the professional development of local teachers.

Employers funded 30 percent of the teacher stipend and Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas funded 70 percent with funds received from the Texas Talent Connection grant.

Participating employers included Chevron Phillips Chemical, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas, ExxonMobil, Golden Pass LNG, International Paper, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College Orange, Lamar State College Port Arthur, Lamar University, Medical Center of Southeast Texas, Motiva, Port of Beaumont, Port of Orange, Port of Port Arthur, TotalEnergies and Valero.

“The Teacher Externship Program reflects Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas’s commitment to providing high-quality educational opportunities for teachers and students,” said Mary Hammon, Executive Director of Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas. “By bridging the gap between classrooms and workplaces, this program has transformed education and contributed to the creation of a future-ready workforce that meets the demands of a changing world.”

For more information about the Teacher Externship Program, please contact business@setworks.org.