August 2021


Macey Wright, Mrs. Jennifer Gibson and Sadie Moore in the Graphic Design program at PGHS. Photo by Matt Cornelius

O ur nation has focused heavily in the past two decades on the importance of a bachelor’s degree and has equated that with success. As a result, we are now seeing a shortage in skilled laborers. A career and technical education (CTE) pathway, once considered a “back-up plan,” currently has a starting salary equivalent to, or more than, masters graduates. It has become normal to see ads and marketing initiatives across social media platforms targeting people who have received CTE. Representatives from our local higher education institutions and school districts boast that Texarkana, USA is ahead of the game in training and preparing for a highly skilled workforce. In fact, one of the most appealing factors for a new business wanting to move to Texarkana is knowing they will have the resources to hire highly skilled people. Texarkana CTE programs address industry needs and the constant innovation of technologies. CTE programs allow our region to continue to compete with larger cities and metropolitan areas across the state and nation. Brandon Washington, Vice President of Campus Operations and Dean of

Community & Business and Workforce Education at Texarkana College, stated, “CTE programs allow a huge jump-start to a person’s career. For example, industrial maintenance students at Texarkana College are being hired before they even graduate.” Washington explained, “There are enormous job openings with major earning potential and the U.S. is having trouble filling these spots. That is why the mission of the CTE program at Texarkana College is to identify these needs and invest in state-of-the-art equipment to train our students and have them prepared to enter the workforce in these high demand jobs.” Not only are these initiatives being encouraged throughout the state of Texas, but the state of Arkansas is also seeing a high demand for CTE programs as well. Jennifer Teresa, Dean of the Industrial and Technical Division at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT), stated “Governor Hutchinson is making a big push for CTE programs. We want to be leaders in the state for this initiative and are expanding and moving forward in this direction.” A unique aspect of CTE programs in our community is the partnerships between higher education institutions and local

Auto Body Technology program at Texarkana College. Photo by Michael Ulmer


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