By Lindsay Starr Platt
More than 20 people gathered for a pancake breakfast on Friday morning at Harris Community Center to learn and discuss how their organization can be instrumental in the regional P20 council. The Central Texas P20 Regional Council is a school-to-work initiative that builds connections from local public education to the local workforce to contribute a skilled workforce populace across the Central Texas region.
“This is a great opportunity for higher education. School districts and businesses to come together and talk about workforce skills and what the kids need for the future,” said Susan Kincannon Superintendent of Belton Independent School District (ISD). “I am proud to be a part of it.”
“I think as a community college you always improve to look for ways to be involved with students and the workforce,” said Tina Ady, Deputy Chancellor of Central Texas Collge. “This is a great task that the P20 has to connect communities and opportunities together.”
Central Texas P20 Regional Council serves five colleges and 12 counties. 432 ISD’s comprised of 246,322 students are also served. Those served by P20 get the chance to collaborate with education and business partners within the Central Texas College & Temple College service areas to include: Pre-Kindergarten- 12th-grade educators, institutions of higher learning, Economic Development Corporations, Chambers of Commerce and community organizations. These collaborations and partnerships connect students to college and career readiness.
“It is a powerful collaboration because of the region involved,” said Stephanie O’banion, Vice-President/Programs Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation. “We have a powerful collaboration and we are focusing that goal of preparing students for college or careers.”
“It is a wonderful opportunity for our business people more about our region’s wide vision for the students,” said Susan Kamas, Executive Director Central Texas Workforce Development Board. “Collectively as a group we accomplish more and do not duplicate.”
Denise Ayres Director of Career and Technical Education, Temple ISD presented a slide that stated “ The Business Benefit” of P20 is: Gain a skilled and equipped workforce; create an awareness of high-demand skill sets, certifications, and degrees needed in the workplace; coach educators on new technologies, trends, and opportunities within the various industry sectors and promote talent retention and recruitment.
“It was fantastic to get such a great group together and how we go from high school to the workforce,” said Russell Porterfield, Career & College Readiness Copperas Cove ISD.
After the slideshow presentation, attendees had the chance to meet-and-greet with other organizations and attendees.