On Oct. 31, South Texas College, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and McAllen Independent School District’s Youth Apprenticeship Program held a ceremonial signing of registered apprenticeship agreements and work contracts for high school juniors and seniors.
“This program is really where the future is headed in developing talent in our community,” said Steve Alenius, president/CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. “I’m really excited about the commitment our business community has made.”
The program is a collaborative effort to provide college instruction and paid, on-the-job training for students who are part of STC’s U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program. Apprentice occupations include auto technician; Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC); hotel operations and culinary arts.
STC Associate Dean of Industry Training and Economic Development Carlos Margo says students and businesses will both benefit from this collaboration.
“I think it’s much needed here with businesses, everybody benefits. The students benefit because they’re taking classes at STC and are actually working on the job alongside a mentor who helps them,” said Margo. “These students are getting paid, they are earning while they are learning, and in addition to all the above they are getting a U.S. Department of Labor credential as a result of this training program, so that’s a nationally recognized credential that’s going to be with them for life.”
Students will work in a variety of McAllen businesses gaining experience and possible network connections for future careers. These businesses include Santa Fe Steakhouse, The Monitor, House Wine and Bistro, SALT New American Table and Double Tree Hotel. Also participating are Clark Chevrolet, Boggus Ford, and Atlas Electrical, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Plumbing Services Inc.
The youth apprenticeship is the first of its kind in the region.