Alamo area teachers funded again for summer externships to employer sites

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June 07, 2016
Workforce Solutions Alamo has received a $200,000 grant for the second year of the Externship for Teachers Program, initiated by the Texas Workforce Commission.  These funds will support the participation of 150 middle and high school teachers in real world experiences in a particular STEM related field to learn how classroom content can be applied in the workplace. 

The externship will inform teachers on the skill sets required for a given industry, so teachers can then inform, educate, and guide students to industries that match their skill sets.

“Connecting classroom content to the real world and workplace will help students understand and develop the academic and technical skills they need to enter the workforce,” said Gail L. Hathaway, Executive Director, Workforce Solutions Alamo.

This is the second year of funds received for this project in the Alamo area.  The first year award of $100,000 funded the participation of 100 teachers and created the Alamo STEM Workforce Coalition (ASWC).  Funds were awarded through an RFP or application for Local Workforce Development Boards to partner with local employers, local independent school districts and institutions of higher education.  

ASWC partners include:
•    The Alliance for Technology Education in Applied Math and Science (ATEAMS) 
•    Education Service Center Region 20 (ESC-20) 
•    San Antonio Foundation for Free Enterprise (SAFFE) dba SA Works
•    P16 Plus Council of Greater Bexar County
•    The University of Texas at San Antonio Academy for Teacher Excellence (UTSA ATE)

This multi-disciplinary team successfully worked together on the prior Externships for Teachers project, and team members have a long history of partnering to provide teacher professional development to regional STEM teachers.

“This year we have added a phase two for former participants, virtual experiences with Nepris licenses for all participating teachers, a coalition website, and printed materials for teachers to align the externship sites to local labor market data, the Achieve Texas Career Clusters and Programs of Study, as well as the Texas Foundation High School program endorsement pathways,” said Joe Lazor, Executive Director of ATEAMS and originator of the program concept. 

Leveraged funds as a match for the program were required, with SA Works providing $25,000 and ATEAMS contributing $39,000 ($35,000 from the Alcoa Foundation and $4,000 from HEB). 

Highlights from the first year include 26 externship opportunities at 21 employer sites, teachers from 25 school districts and 61 campuses, Project Based Learning instruction and lesson plan development time, expert panelists describing workforce challenges and opportunities for teachers and students, and implementation of curricula into the classroom.

Applications for teacher participation are now closed, and eligibility screening for participation is being conducted. The program received 185 applications for 100 first-time participant slots. Employer sites for externships are still being considered. Interested employers may visit the Alamo STEM Workforce Coalition at for more information.

About Workforce Solutions Alamo
The mission of Workforce Solutions Alamo is to build a premier workforce in America by providing employers and residents with the opportunities, resources and services to develop and gain a competitive edge in the global economy.  Workforce Solutions Alamo reaches over 40,000 businesses and more than 2.0 million residents in the City of San Antonio and the counties of Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Guadalupe, Gillespie, Karnes, Kerr, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties.  For more information on available workforce programs and services, visit our website at

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