New chamber initiative helps prepare future workforce

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee announced a new initiative, Gateway to Your Future which will launch on January, 11, 2023 at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU).

The Gateway initiative will greatly expand on the Chamber’s Leaders of Tomorrow “LOT” Crew format, an established program that annually involves roughly 35 eighth-graders from Nacogdoches County and targets developing leadership skills in students on their way to high school.

The Gateway initiative will involve as many as 800 eighth-graders from Nacogdoches County in a three-day event at SFA providing introductions to career opportunities for middle school students as they prepare to for high school next fall.

Gateway to the Future is a massive undertaking, requiring substantial investment and planning,” said Education Committee Chairwoman Erin Windham, who also serves as Nacogdoches ISD’s Community Engagement Liaison and chairs the district’s education foundation.

To bring Gateway to Your Future to Nacogdoches, the Chamber’s Education Committee is working with SFA’s Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation, the Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation, Better Together, a grassroots organization formed in 2018 with the goal of improving health, mental health and well-being of all residents, Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, and Nacogdoches ISD.

“There are a lot of moving parts and I’m grateful for the support from our sponsors who have made this a priority,” Windham said.

For additional information please call the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce at 936-560-5533.