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Tech education in Bryan-College Station: How students are getting the work skills they need for free

Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 19:01:41-05

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — Bryan ISD is providing students with real-world professional experience through one technical education complex that is serving students in the Brazos valley with various certifications.

” There are several companies here in town, companies all over the world, that are looking for skilled workers," said John Gerzik, an Industrial Engineering and Robotics Teacher at Bryan ISD. "They don’t necessarily have to be college-bound, but they need to be skilled workers,”

This selective program is allowing students like Irijah Williams to earn hands-on experience within the manufacturing industry, earning a certification in industrial robotics.

”To get in this class, you had to have certain grades," said Irijah Williams, a student at Bryan ISD in the Industrial Engineering and Robotics program. "Not every one that signed the papers to get in got in, and I came in with no experience, and now, I do, I have experience so when I go into any field that I want, I have that edge over the other people,”

These students are given a leg up with the knowledge gained and will likely set them apart from other applicants in the near future.

”While I’m in college, I can definitely already apply for jobs that require skills like these, I’ve already got some of the base skills that I would need to learn,” said Cade Dotson, a student at Bryan ISD also in the Industrial and Engineering program.

The Bryan career and technical education complex is giving opportunities to students in nearby districts as well.

”The original vision is that they wanted to be able to reach not just the Brazos valley, but we want to extend our reach further than that,” said Gerzik.

Snook ISD currently has five seniors in their second year of the program and Jerod Neff from the school district, says, he will have about a dozen more interested in participating, next school year.

While Caldwell ISD has 30 students attending daily. Ashley Zboril, the Counselor and CTE director at Caldwell ISD, says, the school district is pleased to provide this opportunity to their students with all costs covered by the district.

Giving opportunities to students who are passionate about this industry or others who financially can’t afford to attend a four-year college after high school. This allows them to jump right into the workforce.

”With us being a smaller district, we don’t have the resources to have a huge automotive program, or huge engineering and robotics, or construction,” said Zboril.

This regional partnership is one of few in the state, according to the U.S Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the industrial industry is projected to grow 10% since last checked in 2019.