Thirty-six employers, East Texas colleges and branches of the military filled Malcolm Rector Center for Advanced Careers & Innovation on Thursday for Nacogdoches High School’s Youth Career Summit.

Held in partnership with Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas, the summit allowed NHS juniors and seniors to visit with East Texas firms that might provide employment and educational opportunities for soon-to-be graduates. Other Nacogdoches County high schools sent students to tour the summit.

NHS has been working towards this opportunity for the past several weeks. Last month, students got to hone their skills during mock job interviews held with volunteers and NISD administrators. 

The Career & Technical Education Department at NISD also maintains a Closet for Success that provides donated professional clothing for students to use on the day of the summit. That’s because a number of students who will soon be graduating were interviewed Thursday to fill roles for the employers, said Coy Van Valkenburgh, NISD’s Director of College and Career Readiness.

“It is a possibility that many of our students walked away Thursday with a lead or offer for a job or internship,” Van Valkenburgh said. “A number of the businesses participating had positions they needed filled.

“We’re always grateful our partners show up and participate in the career summit. It’s an opportunity for all of our students – those looking to enter the workforce and those preparing to move on to a college or university – to make important contacts with Nacogdoches-area employers.”

NHS senior Alondra Beltran is interested in getting her certification to be a physical therapy assistant. She’s also targeting employment after graduation next month. 

“It was important to see the different options,” Alondra said. 

Those participating Thursday in the summit include: Deep East Texas Council of Governments, Rusk State Hospital, Elara Caring, Legacy Institute, Willowbrook Nursing, Splash Kingdom Waterpark, Gary Job Corps, Texas A&M – School of Nursing and Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

Also, Lockheed Martin, Motorhomes of Texas, Spherion Staffing Services, Parker Hannifin Corp., Gas Burner Academy, Blessed Family Farms, Drewery Construction Co., TFP Nutrition, Texas Department of Transportation, Panola College, U.S. Army and U.S. Marines Corps.

Also, Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation, Eaton Corp., Pilgrim’s Pride, Texas Materials Co., Baker Hughes, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Angelina College, Texas State Technical College – Marshall, Endura Products Inc., NIBCO Inc., Coca-Cola, McWilliams Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, Spirit Outfitters, Stephen F. Austin State University and University Technical Institute.

Students talk with Nac-area employers
Students talk with Nac-area employers