The Texas City Independent School District Industrial Trades Center is a program that was implemented to support students across Galveston County, as well as the industry workforce. Center administrators worked with industry and community representatives to design the programs in need. That became reality a year ago when the doors opened and students began classes.

During their first year, students received certifications in OSHA 10, NCCER Core in all programs, NCCER Level 1 in carpentry, pipe fitting and electrical, AWS D-1 certification in welding and NIMS and Fanuc certifications in machining. Students also received forklift certifications.

Many of the carpentry students volunteered their time assisting Habitat for Humanity to build two homes in Texas City and sets for the La Marque High School Drama Club. They participated in SkillsUSA district competition and placed First, Second and Third in Carpentry Skills and Best of Show, and went to compete at state and won Frist Place in Projects.

The Maritime Program had two seniors from last school year accepted to the Texas A&M University-Galveston’s Maritime Program and one senior who received a recommendation to the National Maritime Academy at Kings Point.

The Welding Program had students compete at SkillsUSA district and received eight Superior ratings on their projects; one student won Best of Show and the Welding 1 students won first and third place in Skills.

All students are required to pass a 10 panel drug test to enroll in these programs and must pass random tests all year in order to remain in the programs. During the first school year there was a 90 percent passing rate, and to date, this school year it is a 98 percent passing rate.

Enrollment from the 2016-17 school year to the current year has gone from 100 students to 300-plus with about 350 to 400 enrolling for the 2018-19 school year.

There are many internships made available to the students from the classes. And plans for the future are to have adult training evening programs and summer camps. Articulation agreements, continuing education and dual credit are also in the future possibly at College of the Mainland, San Jacinto College and Texas A&M Galveston.

We have been so thrilled with how well the leaders of the industry in the area have continued to be a part of the program through the ITC Advisory Council, which meets quarterly. It’s their continued support and guidance that enables the district to help students reach their full potential in the craft training programs offered.

An open house is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 22 at 1400 Ninth Ave. N. in Texas City for interested partners and community members to witness firsthand the success of our students.

Richard Chapa is director of career and technical education at Texas City Independent School District.


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