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Texas Students Have Many Career Options: TWC Showcases the Importance of Education for Career Development at 10th Annual South by Southwest Education Conference

Date: October 24, 2019

Media Contact: Cisco Gamez
Phone: 512-463-8556


AUSTIN - The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) was recently selected to participate in the tenth annual SXSW Edu (South by Southwest Education Conference) taking place in Austin, Texas March 9-12, 2020. Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez will participate in a panel entitled “Workforce Counselors Guiding Pathways for Seniors,” which explores the Texas Workforce Commission’s Pilot Initiative to provide career awareness and guidance to students at public middle and high schools, grades six through twelve, in an effort to direct students towards High Growth High Demand Occupations. TWC will be joined by representatives from the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and Lamar Institute of Technology.

“I am thrilled to have been selected to present on this important initiative which will transform high school counseling. The Education Outreach specialist will counsel students regarding in demand jobs and training opportunities with Registered Apprenticeship programs, training programs with employers and community colleges,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I am extremely humbled by the opportunity for TWC to speak before the South by Southwest Education audience and share the work being done by Workforce Counselors across the state that help students at public middle school and high schools develop meaningful career paths early on.”

The Panel Discussion Will Include:

  1. How Workforce Counselors guide and connect students to apprenticeships, two-year colleges and employers with careers in demand industries.
  2. How Workforce Counselors connect student interest, educational paths, industry-recognized credentials and certificates and ultimately employment.
  3. Why Texas Career Signing Day galvanizes student connections to job placement or training opportunities.

In June 2019, TWC awarded over $5,000,000 in funding to seven local Workforce Boards for a Workforce Career and Education Outreach Counselor Pilot Program. Students receive education and direction on career choices as well as access to current labor market and career data. TWC estimates approximately 170,000 students will be engaged across 66 different Independent School Districts through 2,000 career workshops in its inaugural year.

This program supports the achievement of Texas’ goals outlined in the November 2016 Tri-Agency Report. The funding establishes at least two full-time Workforce Counselors to travel within designated independent school districts to deliver career guidance and workforce information to students, including underrepresented populations such as youth in foster care. The funds are used for organizing training workshops, exposing students to a variety of career pathways and coordinating with local and state services to provide pre-apprenticeship opportunities.


The panel will also highlight TWC efforts to promote Texas Career Signing Day. Launched in March 2019, Texas Career Signing Day encourages partnerships and articulation agreements between high schools and community/technical colleges, registered apprenticeship programs, and employers. These partnerships allow for college affordability with an emphasis on preparing students, who are the future workforce of Texas, for promising careers.

SXSW Edu is an annual event which takes place in Austin, Texas. The four-day event offers compelling sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, future-focused competitions, an expo, networking opportunities, and so much more. For more information about the event including ticketing visit the SXSW Edu website.


The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.


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