Area Educators experience "Externship"

To bring real-world work experiences back to classroom


Last updated 6/21/2022 at 12:25pm

Lamar State College – Orange:  Area teachers learned about Lamar State College-Orange's Maritime and Healthcare programs. L to R: Denee Hurst, Lacey Dougharty , and Elizabeth Lebeouf, LCM HS; Stephanie Brown, WOS HS; Kim Boutin, LCM HS; LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson; Johnnie Harrell, LCM HS; LSCO Provost and EVP Dr. Wendy Elmore; and Dean of Health, Workforce, and Technical Studies Kristin Walker.

Beaumont, TX (June 21, 2022) – There's no substitute for experience and area educators recently learned first-hand what it takes to succeed in local high-demand careers. About 60 local teachers, counselors and educators partnered with host business and industry leaders earlier this month for a hands-on approach to learning job skills designed to strengthen alignment between education and employment opportunities in Southeast Texas.

The Texas Externship Initiative allowed teachers to experience the day-to-day skills required for student graduates to succeed in jobs that offer high-growth and career advancement opportunities in Southeast Texas.

"Southeast Texas offers a wide variety of career options with good wages, benefits and growth opportunities," stated Mary Hammon, executive director of Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas, sponsor of the event. "We want to give our local students every chance for success and promote strong economic development for our region. We're grateful for the collaboration between our Host sites, the school districts and Workforce Solutions that enabled the 2022 Teacher Externship. We were fortunate to expand the program this year and increase the impact on career education in our area schools through the experiences the Host sites provided teachers. Based on the positive feedback we've received, we expect to continue the program next year."

During the week-long program, educators experienced the real-world application of academic, technical and crafts skill sets and gained insight into industry business ethics, communication, and professional and interpersonal skills. The Externship's goal is to ultimately connect these experiences within classroom lesson plans that positively affect student graduation rates and increase alignment of academic knowledge with technical and craft skills.

The 17 participating host companies included chemical and manufacturing refineries, hospitals, ports, colleges, and associated training institutions – all industries classified as high growth and in high demand, providing above-average wages and with excellent advancement opportunities for student graduates.

Valero Energy:  Yolanda Clark, West Orange-Cove CISD; Gretchen Buchanan and Angelica Perez, Port Arthur ISD; Kristan Wade, Beaumont ISD; Octavia Brown-Reed and Vandie Smith, Port Arthur ISD and Shawn Pichoff, Technical Training Supervisor at Valero Energy Corporation.

Host companies included ExxonMobil, Valero, Motiva, Chevron Phillips, International Paper, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas, Port of Beaumont, Port of Port Arthur, Orange County Navigation and Port District, Sabine Pass Port Authority, TotalEnergies, Natgasoline, The Medical Center of Southeast Texas, Lamar University, Lamar State College Port Arthur, Lamar State College Orange, and Lamar Institute of Technology.

About Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas

The Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas Board is a business-led group of volunteers that evaluates and oversees the delivery of all workforce training and employment services in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange Counties. The board's overall mission is to identify opportunities and create partnerships that effectively link employers and job seekers to improve the economic future of the area. Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas brings together a myriad of programs for easy access for employers and job seekers.



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