This past Wednesday, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, South Texas College, and McAllen ISD launched the first of its kind Youth Apprenticeship Program in South Texas. The program is a pilot project driven by the idea of developing the talent pipeline for McAllen businesses.
The program is a win-win-win-win for the students, businesses, STC, and McAllen ISD.
This initiative is a Department of Labor certified apprenticeship program, which means these students are a “step-ahead” of their peers in the labor market. The training provided by STC for the apprenticeship certification is customized for each business and each student. The students follow a training pathway and the companies get the opportunity to develop talent from the ground-up.
Another important factor in this program is that the students get paid as they learn. This is not an internship program or a job-shadowing program. These are real jobs with real skill sets that need to be mastered. The program gives great flexibility to the businesses in the hours the students are required to work.
An exciting part of this week’s event was the signing ceremony, which had all of the hallmarks of a big college signing day. Here are the five critical things the students are agreeing to do as part of the apprenticeship program:
- To show up on time, to be ready to work, to be focused on the tasks given to them, and to perform to the best of his/her abilities.
- To have a “teachable” mindset, as well as to be willing to learn and try new things and job tasks.
- To be a strong team player and to be willing to work with a wide variety of co-workers to help make the work environment conducive for teamwork and success.
- To provide outstanding customer service in any role assigned during the apprenticeship program.
- To display a high level of integrity and honesty in all actions and words.
This program could not happen without the willingness of McAllen businesses to try something new and to find innovative ways of developing talent. A special thanks to Atlas Electrical, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration and Plumbing Services (Sarah Hammond), Boggus Ford (Bob Boggus), Clark Chevrolet (Kirk Clark), The DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton(Eddie Lopez), House Wine and Bistro/SALT (Larry Delgado), The Monitor (Stephan Wingert), and Santa Fe Steak House (Albert Rego).
The plan for next year is to double the number of participating businesses and student apprentices.