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Texas Works: Training and Education for All Texans

Quotes, Sidebars and Success Stories

Index of Quotes, Sidebars and Success Stories


  • Linda Berenice Sarabia
    • Secretaria, Association of Laredo Forwarding Agents, Inc.
    • “Some students need to start working and can’t wait to get educated. They’ll take a job in fast food, but they don’t know about opportunities in logistics and warehousing.”
  • Bob Burns
    • VP of Business Development, El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation
    • “Over the past five years, the El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation has developed 6,800 jobs. The community college has directly and indirectly been involved with over half of these jobs.”
  • Roger Creery
    • Executive Director, Laredo Development Foundation
    • “In this area, we need more mechanics and process flow technicians. You don’t need a four-year degree for these jobs, but you will need specialized training. With a relatively small amount of time and money, we can reap some future rewards.”
  • Mike Hartly
    • Director of Medical Services, Laredo Medical Center
    • “We have absorbed 50 percent of the local community college graduates, but we still have 40 openings. We have to ‘hire-out’ for contract labor to fill our nursing shortage.”
  • Vern Huriburt
    • Production Manager, Raytheon Network Centric Systems
    • “Numerous students are getting lost in the shuffle. We have a young man here who works in our warehouse moving boxes. He asked, ‘what do I have to do to be a machinist?’ Never in his high school was it proposed to take machining.”
  • Monte King
    • Workforce Development, Shell Oil Company
    • “If Texas is known to have work force talent, more companies will locate and expand in the state.”
  • Nat Lopez
    • Manager Core I&M, Special Services, AT&T Texas
    • “I think counselors should have more time one-on-one with kids to see where they are skilled. If my counselor had known I had taken apart electronics all of my life, she might have recommended Texas State Technical College. Instead she looked at my grades and my SAT and recommended I go to a university.”
  • Tony Magaro
    • Assistant Director of Human Resources, Southwest Research Institute
    • “One of our biggest work force issues is the availability of qualified technical people in science and engineering. At one time, we were very successful in bringing in VOE [Vocational Office Education] student employees and recruiting directly from area high schools. It is now difficult to recruit students in VOE programs that at one time provided students with technical and clerical skills. This is certainly an area of concern.”
  • Mike Scott
    • Co-owner of H&S Constructors
    • “We’ve turned down over $1 billion in contracts nationwide due to a lack of work force.”
  • Rogelio Treviño
    • Executive Director, Workforce Solutions South Texas
    • “Our Workforce Development Area has around 98,000 in the labor force. Seventy to 80 percent of the positions do not require a four-year degree, but do require postsecondary education.”
  • Edward C. Trump
    • Plant Manager, Harrison County Power Project
    • “There is a tendency to push kids to a four-year degree and I think we have to change that view. There is nothing wrong with starting with an associate degree...we are paying many of our associate degree people more than four-year graduates.”
  • Tom Wade
    • President, Logistics and Manufacturing Association, Port Laredo
    • “If we can’t get the work force we need, we’ll leave. We have to get people educated or growth will stop and people will move.”
  • Jo Rae Wagner
    • President, CTO, Inc., Harlingen
    • “We need to put pride back into specialty trades. It is important to change the way we look at apprenticeships and put them back in the high schools.”
  • Carol Wilson
    • Senior Human Resources Director, Centerpoint Energy
    • “It’s getting tougher to find people for technical skills-related positions. The demand is greater than the supply of the people who possess these skills.”
  • Bob Zachariah
    • President, Laredo Hotel and Lodging Association
    • “If we don’t provide adequate funding to community colleges, then we won’t get the talent that Texas employers need.”


  • Austin Community College Game Development Program
    A newly established two-year program offered by Austin Community College (ACC) trains students for careers in computer game development.
  • AT&T University
    AT&T has created its own “university” to provide its employees with leadership and development training through a flexible learning environment that evolves with changing business needs.
  • Bilingual and English as a Second Language Education
    In the 2006-07 school year, about 15 percent of Texas public school students (679,352) were enrolled in bilingual education programs. In the same year, about 16 percent of all students (731,304) were identified as Limited English Proficiency (LEP), an increase of more than 400,000 from the 1990-91 school year.
  • Career Pathways Models
    The pathways model suggests a large-scale, flexible and open system, open to everyone from recent college dropouts to middle-aged displaced factory workers. Community colleges provide the most accessible foundation for this initiative.
  • A “College-Going” Culture
    Studies suggest that a “college-going” environment – one in which parents have either attended college or support attending college, or in which, at minimum, the child attends a secondary school that actively supports college attendance – generally increases a child’s chances of enrollment.
  • Economic Impact Studies
    Economic impact analyses estimate the direct and indirect effects on the economy associated with a given expenditure. Any increase in demand for a product triggers a series of expenditures on the part of firms that provide the goods and services needed to produce and sell that product to the consumer. In the case of a service such as higher education, economic impacts only tell part of the story.
  • Other Economic Impact Resources
    In addition to the 2005 Comptroller report, a number of other studies estimated the economic impact of higher education in Texas. Some examined the impacts of individual schools on local communities, while others looked at statewide impacts.
  • First-Generation College Students
    High school graduates whose parents never attended college, called “first-generation” students, often face an uphill climb. Some of their problems are: lower expectations; parents who are less familiar with the steps needed to get into college; and lower family income due to parents’ relatively low-skill, low-wage jobs.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Assistance
    The college application process includes a number of hurdles. One of the most important of these is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federal application that determines student eligibility for Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans and work-study programs.
  • Kirby Inland Marine
    In response to shortages of skilled maritime workers, Kirby supplies potential and current employees with training courses at their state-of-the art facilities in Channelview, Texas.
  • Net Present Value
    Given that higher education is an investment of time and money, the net present value of future earnings from education adds a broader view of its economic impact.
  • A New Approach to High School
    Manor New Technology High School in Manor, Texas is modeled after the New Tech High School in Sacramento, California. The school’s major instruction method is Project-Based Learning, a system based on the idea that students are better learners when they can see the relevance of skills or content.
  • Pre-K in Texas
    Studies have shown that early intervention in a child’s developmental stages can promote schooling, reduce teen pregnancy, improve work force productivity and lower crime rates. Effective Pre-K programs, then, have the potential to play a key role in ensuring that we remain able to meet long-term work force needs.
  • Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
    The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) is a unique residential program at the University of North Texas (UNT) for high-achieving Texas high school students.
  • Texas Career Schools
    In Texas, a “career school” or “career college” is a private business that offers training or educational courses in business, trade, technical or industrial occupations, through classroom instruction or distance education technologies. One example is the Texas Culinary Academy (TCA).
  • Texas Tuition Promise Fund
    The Texas Tuition Promise Fund is an easy and affordable college savings plan that allows families to start paying for college now, while locking in current tuition prices. The program is established and maintained by the Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board and managed by OFI Private Investments Inc., a subsidiary of Oppenheimer Funds, Inc.

Success Stories

  • Myrna Gonzalez
    • Wife and mother of three
    • Went to Texas State Technical College
    • Now makes $18 per hour as surgical technologist
  • Michael Green
    • 48-year-old husband and father of five
    • Project Quest/Alamo Community College graduate
    • Now a radiology technician at Brooke Army Med Center
  • Mary Peña
    • Single mother of three
    • Graduate of Project VIDA/South Texas College
    • Now makes $137,000 per year as nurse
  • Melissa Silva
    • First in family to go to college
    • Capital IDEA/Austin Community College in medical sonography
    • Now works at Seton Medical Center Williamson
  • Amanda Soto
    • Single mother of two
    • Graduated El Paso Community College
    • Now works as registered nurse
  • C’Leste Villarreal-Pargas
    • Graduate of Del Mar college in Corpus Christi
    • Employed as a field welder and assistant field supervisor and serves on an advisory board committee for Coastal Bend College’s welding department.
    • Now back in school pursuing graphic arts degree.
  • Billy Jack Weaver
    • Texas State Technical College graduate
    • Now making base salary of $68,000 per year for residential air conditioning company.
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