Lt. Governor Patrick Launches Initiative to Enhance Classroom to Career Transition


HOUSTON – Today, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced a major workforce development initiative that bridges the gap between the classroom and the interview room.

The lieutenant governor detailed plans to create a statewide model for Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), targeting workforce-ready partnerships between K-12, higher education and industry. Students will benefit from the guidance of business community mentors and graduates of the program are first in line for job interviews for well-paying jobs. This effort builds upon career pathway legislation passed by Lt. Gov. Patrick in 2013.

“I am proud to announce that Texas is going farther to improve our workforce needs, while enhancing our education system,” said Lt. Governor Patrick. “Chairman Larry Taylor of the Senate Education Committee and Chairman Kel Seliger of the Senate Higher Education Committee have both been tasked with looking for ways to get students into the workforce faster. We all agree that P-TECH should be part of the solution.”

“I thank Lt. Governor Patrick for his leadership, along with the support of so many other state officials, to help bring this innovative transformation of high school to Texas,” said Sandy Dochen, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager. “The national education model developed by IBM is already increasing college completion rates and seeing its graduates obtain good paying jobs. We’re excited that P-TECH has spread to six states, but given IBM’s strong ties here, we are committed to launching P-TECH schools in the great state of Texas.”

“P-TECH is an important solution because it prepares students to be successful in today’s competitive and rapidly changing economy,” said Peter Beard, Greater Houston Partnership. “It combines the best elements of high school, college and career into an integrated educational experience to ensure that young people have pathways to high-paying and highly skilled careers in STEM areas and learn the right skills and training needed by employers.”

“One of the most effective ways to prepare today’s youth for the high demand jobs of tomorrow is through early college high school programs like P-TECH,” said Dr. Steve Head, Chancellor of Lone Star College. “Our existing high school partnerships have helped tens of thousands of students get a head start on their college education and their careers, and the P-TECH program has the potential to open up these opportunities and support critical workforce needs in Texas.”

“This initiative is about building partnerships between school districts, higher education institutions and business employers so that we can transition our students from the classroom to careers,” continued Patrick. “Together, we can continue to keep Texas ahead of the curve.”