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    CCAD participates in think tank held at local college

    CCAD participates in thinktank held at a local college

    Photo By Carla Green | CCAD directors and CCAD board of directors' topics of discussion included the need for...... read more read more



    Story by Kathleen Pettaway-Clarke 

    Corpus Christi Army Depot

    CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT, Texas — Hiring officials at Corpus Christi Army Depot continuously seeks to recruit and train the next generation of artisans and employees. Early this year, America’s aviation depot signed a letter of agreement with several of Corpus Christi's major educational institutions.

    Since the signing, CCAD participated in the Del Mar College External Stakeholder Focus Group held at the new DMC Oso Creek Campus. Every five years, the college puts together a strategic plan to decide what the college will prioritize over the next few years; this way, community partners have a plethora of homegrown talent.

    The resounding theme throughout the meeting was, 'Learn, grow, and stay in Corpus Christi.’

    Dr. Natalie Villarreal, executive director of strategic and operations initiatives, said, "We are looking over the horizon to anticipate the local workforce needs up to the year 2029 to give Del Mar College a competitive edge in delivering skilled graduates for industries, not only locally, but also regionally."

    Meeting with stakeholders is the second of the four phases of DMC’s 2024-2029 strategic plan development. Currently, the college has 160 program certifications and wants to ensure these certifications serve the interest of prospective employers. The two remaining phases will happen in the spring and fall of 2024.

    Rod Benson, deputy and chief operations officer, and Lori Garza, strategic business analyst, participated in a round-table discussion on DMC's strengths, threats, weaknesses, and improvements to make the school more appealing.

    Topics of discussion included the need for programs involving robotics, additive manufacturing, composites and 3D printing. Hearing from community partners like CCAD was the purpose of the DMC think tank. It allows them to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of community industries — ultimately appealing to future generations to consider career options locally.

    Garza said, "There's great benefit in receiving an outside perspective and input on positive and critical aspects of an organization. Del Mar College opening up to this feedback will help align their services with our needs, not just the depot but other local organizations."

    Representatives from various industries shared their vision for acquiring a skilled workforce with DMC so the college can understand how to prepare students interested in a career in the city. The representatives discussed the need for workers with specific skill sets in various fields, including education, manufacturing and technology. They also discussed the importance of workforce development programs, which can help students acquire the skills they need to succeed.

    There is competition for talent. Once an investment is made in a student, that student could go elsewhere for employment, often out of state, which affects the quality of the local workforce. So, rather than feeling a loss of equity, the college is attempting to develop a proper infrastructure for students to navigate their destinies in Corpus Christi.

    CCAD is endeavoring to host a part-time student apprentice program. This program would hire part-time students as employees and require them to be part-time students with DMC. Although the program will not guarantee a permanent job, it does position students with the correct credentials to be noticed by hiring officials.

    Benson said, "It's easier now to go on websites and get a certificate, so the barriers to getting an entry certification are dropping. To stay ahead, the value proposition [of Del Mar College, such as affordability] must be shared with students."

    CCAD and DMC are just two examples of local institutions committed to workforce development. The depot's modernization efforts and the college’s efforts to streamline programs are both important steps in ensuring that the Coastal Bend has a strong workforce that can continue to meet the needs of the local economy.



    Date Taken: 06.21.2023
    Date Posted: 08.30.2023 17:18
    Story ID: 452484
    Location: CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, US

    Web Views: 108
    Downloads: 0