Texas Tri-Agency Partners Promote “Texas Internship Challenge” to Connect Education with Careers

February 5, 2018

Media contact: Lisa Givens
Phone: 512-463-8556

AUSTIN ⎯ Texas’ Tri-Agency partners today met in Austin with industry and education stakeholders to discuss expansion strategies for the “Texas Internship Challenge,” a statewide campaign to increase and promote internships for students in Texas. Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes, TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth Ruggero Hughs and TWC Labor Commissioner Julian Alvarez were joined by executives from Lockheed Martin Corporation, Accenture, JPMorgan Chase, among other industry and education leaders to discuss specific goals on internship expansion strategies, which include stressing the importance of internships, examining different strategies to grow internships and listening to ways we can expand outreach.

“Internships provide invaluable mentoring which positions our students for future success by increasing their skills, awareness and work-readiness for Texas careers,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Internships present employers with a unique opportunity to raise students’ understanding of their industry and can serve as a launch point for recruiting a future worker. I challenge Texas employers to join the Texas Internship Challenge and help the future Texas workforce understand the broad range of occupations available to them in the Texas economy.”

The Texas Internship Challenge is a partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The Texas Internship Challenge charges industry and employer partners to offer multiple paid internships or for-credit opportunities to Texas high school and college students—and in turn make these internships easily accessible to Texas students through the website www.TXInternshipChallenge.com.

“We must ensure that every child leaves high school prepared for success, whether they choose to attend college, enroll in the military or enter the career field,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “The Texas Internship Challenge provides every high school student in Texas the stepping stone to a bright future of opportunities.”

“Working with the business community to create more paid internship opportunities is one of the most promising strategies we can offer for students, especially for the more than 60 percent of poor kids in Texas,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes. “These students have to earn income to make their way through college. Paid internships get them into business networks, help them find a job after college, and help them acquire the marketable skills they need to get those jobs. This supports our 60x30TX marketable skills and student debt goals, and enables Texas employers to promote jobs in their industries to our future workforce.”

“In our meetings across the state employers expressed the need to have a talent pipeline equipped with work-based learning experiences. Internships will prepare students with skills to meet the demands of the 21st century,” said TWC Employer Commissioner Ruth Ruggero Hughs. “I applaud and continue to challenge Texas employers in helping the future Texas workforce understand the broad range of opportunities available to them in a growing Texas economy.”

“Internships not only provide important work and life experiences for students, but also set them up for future workplace success,” said TWC Labor Commissioner Julian Alvarez. “The Texas Internship Challenge will help link learning in the classroom, create relevance between the different subjects studied, and help all students develop the skills required for future occupations.”

TWC, TEA and THECB encourage internship programs as a bridge for students to explore in-demand industries and occupations. Students will benefit from mentoring, career guidance, identification of marketable skills, and learn about high-demand occupations. Employers will benefit from the opportunity to explore candidates for full-time recruitment and leverage the developing skill sets and perspectives of students, while also highlighting careers in their industries.

Tri-Agency Initiative media contacts:

Lisa Givens – Texas Workforce Commission
(512) 463-8556
Lisa.Givens@twc.state.tx.us

Lauren Callahan – Texas Education Agency
(512) 463-9000
Lauren.Callahan@tea.texas.gov

Kelly Carper Polden – Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
(512) 427-6119
Kelly.Polden@thecb.state.tx.us

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The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

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