Showing Students What Their Futures Could Be
Harlingen Today, By Eileen Mattei
Behind the scenes at Tech Prep of the RGV is one very active Board of Directors. Thanks to the Board's active and continuous support, Tech Prep programs such as the ALA Teacher Externships, student job shadowing, college and career days, six-year career plans, scholarships, and the Labor Market Information reports have originated and blossomed. Tech Prep's partnership of businesses and education has helped changed the dynamic of the Valley's skilled workforce, while it has guided thousands of high school graduates, each armed with a career plan, into college programs. On May 24, the countless hours of effort and energy that the Board members invest in Tech Prep received national and state recognition. At a phenomenal board meeting, Tech Prep's best was on display and accompanied by a historical retrospective presented by Executive Director Pat Bubb.
“Rene Capistran is a professional of vision and integrity who believes in the personal commitment of employers to help students be successful in life,” Rendon said.
Tech Prep, Pat Bubb explained, was built on the work of the Region 21 Quality Workforce Planning Committee, which began in 1987 under the direction of Rubén Hinojosa, president of H&H Foods, and Gilbert Leal of Texas State Technical College. Their assignment was to identify the best-paying jobs in the region and develop the education structure to prepare students to qualify for those jobs. The committee undertook a regional labor market analysis and produced a labor market report, predecessor to Tech Prep’s current annual Labor Market Information Report. In 1991, the Lower Rio Grande Valley Tech Prep Consortium was created with Pat Bubb as director. At that point, Hinojosa was the QWPC business chair and current TSTC president Dr. Cesar Maldonado, P.E., was QWPC education chair.
Maldonado became the first LRGV Tech Prep Consortium board chair in 1991. The Tech Prep board began its quest to establish coherence of technical education and academic excellence.
Rubén Hinojosa, now a U.S. Congressman, has from the inception been a champion and an advocate for education and for career placement. He continues to be a big supporter of Tech Prep and is committed to helping Tech Prep, even in the face of Perkins funding cuts. Salomon Torres of Cong. Hinojosa’s office has suggested that a collaboration with the Department of Labor might result in funding for Tech Prep’s proven successful programs.
Executive Board members are Richard Vaughan, Joe Vasquez, Teri Zamora, Dr. Steve Flores, Rene Capistran, Al Guillen, Naomi Perales, Dr. Nolan Perez, Norma Salaiz, Gonzalo Salazar, and Perry Vaughn. Directors include Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, Eva-Jean Dalton, Lilly De La Rosa, Kristina Hernandez, Sofia Hernandez, Robert Leftwich, Gregg McCumber, Sofia Piña, Laura Boyer Talbot, Ron Tupper, Veronica Villegas, Rene Villarreal, and Jo Rae Wagner.