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CEIDC, CISD partner for vocational ed programs

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VoCaTrainBy Jan White

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CROCKETT – During the meeting of the Crockett Economic and Industrial Development Corporation board of directors, held on Tuesday, Feb. 8, Brian Aiken, Assistant Superintendent for the Crockett Independent School District, shared his vision for working with the CEIDC, Deep East Texas Workforce, and local businesses to help implement vocational and technical education programs. 

A recent addition to the CISD, Aiken laid out his goals and ideas to the Board. Because of his background, Aiken understands and has identified the need for working with at-risk students to provide educational and vocational opportunities. His hope is to give graduating students more options to help them make positive life choices. Aiken said that CISD wants to partner with agencies like Economic Development and Deep East Texas Workforce to provide training and jobs for students. He believes that the school can achieve long-term, sustainable vocational and technical education objectives by working together with these entities. 

Aiken asked that the CEIDC work specifically with the school district to help open doors with their business partners who could provide training or apprenticeships for students. Executive Director James Gentry mentioned that local businesses, such as Lincoln Lumber, Alloy Polymers, Aquapharm PChem, were looking for skilled workers and stated, “ I’d rather see those positions filled with young people coming out of our community.” 

Both Gentry and Aiken expressed a desire to help give the city’s youth a solid direction for their futures and hope that local businesses will share the vision. Aiken also emphasized the importance of parental involvement to make these goals achievable. He said that the school board will cooperate with the CEIDC to develop a survey to reach out to the community and gather data to find out what businesses, parents, and educators would like to see in the way of targeted vocational and technical education. 

In addition to the discussion by Aiken, CEIDC Board members approved several modifications to bylaws presented by attorney Bill Pemberton. These included allowing all Board members the ability to sign checks, disallowing Mr. Gentry to sign any checks payable to himself, and limiting Board member absences, resulting in expulsion after three consecutive missed meetings.   

The CEIDC also welcomed Wade Thomas and Lawyer Jolley as Ex-Officio members of the Board. The Ex-Officio positions allow the appointees to contribute to discussions and proposals set before the Board, but they do not get to vote on such issues. Thomas is a local businessman and former CEIDC Board member. Jolley is a Crockett native and former operations manager for Chevron Phillips.

Other agenda items included discussions on future modifications to the Onshore Outsourcing contract, proposals for work on the Tech Center, and a project management software company presentation. No actions were taken on the items at this time.

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