CHS Student performing medical check, LISD Preparing Students for today's workforce

The Laredo Independent School District is meeting the needs of today’s workforce by preparing students with certifications and credentials to join the workforce upon graduation and in some cases while still enrolled in high school. LISD is creating a strong career-ready workforce that ensures the success of our community, through the district’s College, Career, and Military Readiness programs at Martin, Nixon, and Cigarroa High Schools, specialty schools which include five early college academies/high schools and a magnet school, dual enrollment courses, and community partnerships. 

LISD’s three comprehensive high schools are Martin, Nixon, and Cigarroa High Schools. The specialty schools include the Business, Industry, and Public Services Early College Academy at Nixon High School, Sabas Perez Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Early College Academy at Cigarroa High School, Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health Science Early College High School at Martin High School, Hector J. Garcia Early College High School located at Texas A&M International University, Pathways to Technology Early College High School at Dr. Leo G. Cigarroa High School, and the Vidal M. Trevino School of Communications and Fine Arts Magnet School (VMT).

 As part of the 60X30 Texas Initiative, LISD is providing students the opportunity to obtain industry-based certifications in the following areas: Microsoft Specialist (Word, Excel), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30 Hour General Industry, OSHA 30 Hour Construction, Refrigerant Handling (EPA 608), Adobe Certified Associate, Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ), Patient Care Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, Certified EKG/ECG Technician, Certified Dental Assistant, Certified Nursing Aide/Assistant (CNA), Certified Medical Assistant, Cosmetology Operator License, Unity Certified Programmer, Non-Commissioned Security Office Level II, ASE Refrigerant Recovery and Recycling. Industry-based certifications also initiated this school year include Certified Veterinary Assistant Level I, Certified Insurance Service Representative, Educational Aide I, and Barbering Operator License. By 2030 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have obtained a certificate or degree.

Martin, Nixon, Cigarroa High Schools, and the Trevino Magnet School students can enroll in House Bill 1 dual enrollment courses and obtain up to 21 college credit hours offered through Laredo College. At Martin and Nixon High Schools students can obtain one semester certificates in Cyber Security and Welding. At Cigarroa High School students can get certificates in Cyber Security, Electrician, Welding, and Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). VMT students can take concentrated coursework in communications, music, voice, theatre arts, dance, and art education.

Cyber Security never crossed Martin High School junior Ashley Flores’s mind. But once she saw that it would be beneficial to her future success, she did not let the opportunity pass her by. 

“This program has shown me what society experiences day to day with hackers. My future is secure thanks to Cyber Security,” said Flores. “My life after high school looks bright. Using the skills, I have learned will secure me a job. Companies try to look for individuals that know how to work with computers that gives me a great advantage because I have experience.”

At the five Early College High Schools, students can enroll in Health Science, Architecture and Construction (Welding, Construction, Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning), STEM (Engineering-Animation, Engineering Design, Computer Aided Drafting) Business/Accounting, Education and Training, Cosmetology, Barbering, and Criminal Justice courses and earn up to 60 college credit hours offered through TAMIU or Laredo College with the possibility of gaining an associate degree. 

“LISD wants to provide students every opportunity to gain the skills needed for today’s workforce and to pursue a higher education in the field of their choice,” said Rogelio Garcia, LISD Executive Director of CCMR, Advanced Academics and Schools of Innovation. “In collaboration with community, business, and educational partners, LISD is preparing students for life after graduation to be college, career, and military ready.”

In an ongoing effort to provide LISD students with the opportunities necessary to earn a certification or gain hands-on experience in the workforce, the district has created and established various community partnerships. These partnerships are with institutions of higher education (Laredo College and TAMIU), local business and industry partners such as the South Texas Work Force, Prestige Air Conditioning, Commerce Bank, Rubi’s Air Conditioning, and Cooling and Heating Industry Leaders of Laredo.  

The district is in the process of creating additional partnerships with the Agriculture, Architecture/Construction, and Transportation Industries.

LISD has also implemented several initiatives at the elementary level to get students interested in college and career readiness programs at an early age. These initiatives comprise of STEM Early Start, where kindergarten teachers are trained and provided hands-on resources to encourage STEM related activities in their classroom; the Farm to School and 3E’s (Eating, Exercise, and Education) grants that expose students to agricultural processes and careers; and college awareness promotions like college t-shirt Friday, where students are encouraged to wear their favorite college t-shirt on the first Friday of every month.     

For more information, please contact Cindy Dominquez, LISD College, Career, and Military Readiness Coordinator at 956-273-1864.