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Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas


Stakeholders Convene to Align Education Pathways to High Demand Occupations

Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas
Nov 20, 2023
Posted by: Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas

Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas, one of the state’s 17 Tri-Agency Regional Convener Grant Awardees, is leading an effort to identify and align regional educational pathways for targeted in-demand occupations across the Deep East Texas workforce development area. The comprehensive Regional Strategy for planning and executing high-quality pathways will be delivered in early 2025.

Since the project launched in June 2023, the cross-sector pathways leadership team, called SPEAR (Student Pathways for Economic Advancement in the Region), has been formed and consists of 20 members, which represent secondary and post-secondary education, Education Service Centers (ESC), economic development corporations, employers, and workforce. The 2023-2024 SPEAR team members are:

  • Amanda Hatton, Region 5 ESC – Beaumont
  • Kenny Barnes Region 6 ESC – Huntsville
  • Carrie Chandler, Region 7 ESC – Kilgore
  • Erin Windham, Nacogdoches ISD
  • Brian Aiken, Crockett ISD
  • Dr. Tiffany Spicer, Buna ISD
  • Mary Ann Rojas, Stephen F. Austin State University Center for Applied Research & Rural Innovation (CARRI)
  • Dr. Tim Ditoro, Angelina College
  • Dr. Sylvia Leal, T.L.L. Temple Foundation
  • Eddie Hopkins, Jasper Economic Development Corporation
  • Craig Williams, CLK Chief Long King Resources
  • Che'ke Yates, Lockheed Martin
  • Jolly Hayden, East Texas Electric Cooperative
  • Deanne Hilburn, Woodland Heights Medical Center
  • Amelia Commander, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital
  • Joseph Ceasar, Legacy Institute for Financial Education
  • Jeff Eichman, Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas
  • Joshua Fleming, Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas
  • Mark Durand, Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas
  • Karen Stubblefield, Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas

A focus on several intensive grant activities and deliverables will contribute to the development of the infrastructure needed to implement and scale high-quality career and education pathways aligned to targeted industries and high demand occupations throughout the Workforce Development Area.

The regional educational pathways begin at the secondary level with Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes being offered at regional high schools. The second phase of the educational pathway includes post-secondary opportunities (college, university, trade/technical schools) that allow high school graduates the opportunity to advance their knowledge and career-based skills, which also align with the targeted in-demand occupations.

Regional training and employer workforce needs are being identified and disseminated for the targeted Deep East Texas in-demand occupations in the following targeted industries: manufacturing, health care, construction, transportation, and IT. The identified in-demand occupations are:

  • Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
  • Computer System Analysts
  • Construction Managers
  • Electricians
  • Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers
  • Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines
  • Paramedics
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Radiological Technologists and Technicians
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
  • Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Drivers
  • Software Developers
  • Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Tester

Work is under way to build the Deep East Texas Asset Map and Gap Analysis. The analysis, which will be completed by January 30, 2024, requires involvement and input from cross-sector regional stakeholders—including business and industry, economic development, secondary education, post secondary education, workforce development. The data analysis includes regional educational pathways, work-based learning opportunities, partnerships, and resources related to navigating current and future economic advancement opportunities. Additional data sources include online labor market information, and recent workforce and economic reports published by the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and CARRI. After the Asset Map and Gap Analysis formal report has been finalized and submitted, the resource can be accessed on

The Regional Convener Grant project extends until February 28, 2025, at which time the SPEAR team will submit a Regional Strategic Plan that will include a 2-year Implementation plan. The plan will include strategies for streamlining regional communication, as well as a resource data hub for information related to quality pathways implementation, and regional work-based learning opportunities.

Deep East Texas Regional Convener Leadership Team 2023-2024
Deep East Texas Regional Convener Leadership Team 2023-2024