Teacher externship connecting classrooms to careers for local teachers

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas connected 70 educators from 13 school districts across Orange, Jefferson and Hardin counties with 16 host sites, fostering collaborations between educators and industry professionals.

The 2024 Teacher Externship reflects Workforce Solutions’ commitment to providing high-quality educational opportunities for teachers and students.

“By bridging the gap between classrooms and careers, this program has transformed education and contributed significantly to the development of a future-ready workforce that meets the demands of our changing world,” executive director Mary Hammon said.

From June 3-7, the Teacher Externship program strengthened educators’ understanding of industry trends and needs by immersing them in real-world work environments.

Participating teachers spent the week working alongside professionals in various sectors, gaining firsthand knowledge of the skills, technologies and practices that drive local industries.

Throughout the program, teachers engaged in projects and tasks at the host sites, representing petrochemical, healthcare, manufacturing, maritime and more. 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 demonstrating what they learned and how they plan to integrate this knowledge into their classrooms to educate students about in-demand careers related to the job sites they visited.

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

Participating employers included CHRISTUS Southeast Texas, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Golden Pass LNG, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College Orange, Lamar State College Port Arthur, Lamar University Nursing, Motiva, Port of Beaumont, Port of Orange, Port of Port Arthur, Southeast Texas Building and Construction Trades Council, TotalEnergies and Valero.

Participating school districts include Port Arthur, Beaumont, Little-Cypress Mauriceville, Harmony Science Academy Beaumont, West Orange-Cove, Hardin Jefferson, Port Neches-Groves, Silsbee, Bridge City, Vidor, Bob Hope School, Ehrhart School and Nederland.