The Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation was recently awarded a planning grant for $30,000 from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to begin the development of Career and Technical Education (CTE) tracks at Jefferson High School focused on advanced and bio manufacturing.
The proposed curriculum will offer both dual credits and technical certifications, addressing the problem of advanced manufacturing middle-skill shortages to meet the need of existing regional industries such as automotive, and emerging industries such as bio-manufacturing, in the Paso del Norte region.
The MCA Foundation has organized a committee comprised of 15-20 local community partners committed to developing a rigorous STEM curriculum focused on advanced and bio-manufacturing. The committee consists of representatives from Jefferson High School, Maxine Silva Health Magnet School, El Paso Independent School District Career and Technical Education Program, El Paso Community College Advanced Technology Center and Workforce Solutions Borderplex.
The committee will also be adding industry partners in advanced and bio-manufacturing to provide students access to industry internships and work-based training that complements their specific program of study.
STEM-based jobs are expected to grow 17 percent in the next 10 years, outpacing the overall job growth of 10 percent. The lack of quality STEM education for Hispanic students in the workforce has a direct impact on innovation and economic growth for the Paso del Norte region.
“We are so thrilled to be launching this exciting program at Jefferson High School, which is located on the MCA campus. Developing a bio-manufacturing workforce pipeline is very important to the overall growth of our regional biomedical cluster,” said Emma Schwartz, president of the MCA Foundation. “What better place to start developing this talent than in our regional high schools.”
The program will begin with the addition of CTE tracks at Jefferson High School focused on advanced and bio-manufacturing. New CTE tracks include advanced welding; robotics and automation 1; robotics and automation 2; advanced engineering design and presentation; and engineering design and problem solving or engineering math.
The program will be split into two tracks, with one track focused on students pursuing dual credit courses, opening a pathway to postsecondary education in STEM majors.
The second track will focus on students who want to receive a technical certification in advanced manufacturing upon completion of their high school career in the identified STEM endorsed CTE tracks applicable to advanced and bio-manufacturing. These students would then be given the option to pursue apprenticeships with identified industry partners.
“The El Paso Independent School District strives to provide students with real-world learning opportunities that will make them future- and career-ready,” said EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera. “We are happy to partner with MCA Foundation to bring laser welding and advanced manufacturing to Jefferson/Silva. These programs will give our students an edge in a field that is competitive and in high demand.”
Upon implementation of the advanced and bio-manufacturing program at Jefferson High School, school administrators will be looking at student outcome data, including enrollment, retention, graduation rates, college enrollment, and advanced manufacturing job placement. The end goal is to implement a model for a STEM-based project consortium that includes high school, community college, public and private sectors all working together for the development of an advanced manufacturing workforce.
“There’s great strength in our region’s economy, and this collaboration will powerfully address the mismatch between job skills and employment opportunities in El Paso,” said Bob Snow, head of Chase Middle Market Banking in El Paso. “Meeting this challenge will not only pave the way for continued growth, but it also will help local workers secure a career that will provide for their families.”
About the MCA Foundation
The Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization is focused on creating a world class medical center to foster and accelerate biomedical innovation, creating new employment opportunities while meeting healthcare needs of the Paso del Norte region (the larger cross-border region of El Paso County; Doña Ana County, New Mexico; and Juárez, Mexico).
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management.
A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.