New career center set to open fall 2020


Kaitlyn Hughes

The new Technology, Education and Career Center-West (TECC-West) campus will be opening in the fall.

The Dale Jackson Career Center will close at the end of the 2020 spring semester as a result of the opening of the new Technology, Education and Career Center-West (TECC-West) campus in the fall, which may cost up to $45.9 million.

TECC-West will offer new courses, including Animal Science and Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Culinary Arts, which will be new to the career center, is currently only offered at The Colony High School.

The Dale Jackson Career Center building has been used by LISD students for 35 years. The new building was needed to allow for more course options and provide updated equipment. Dale Jackson counselor Natalie Wilson believes the age of the building makes it difficult to prepare students for the real world work environment.

“We were growing, but we weren’t really growing in the needs of our kids and the industry,” Wilson said.

Courses, such as Cosmetology, have faced issues like power outages and a lack of counter space on Dale Jackson. The larger space and updated electrical systems on TECC-West will reduce these problems.

“Dale Jackson is one of the older campuses for the career center so I’m excited to move to a new campus and have new stuff, a better building and a bigger space,” junior Cosmetology I student Jordan Mojica said.

Additionally, Dale Jackson students have to travel by bus to TECC-East to use equipment, such as anatomy tables, that are not available on their own campus. The larger layout of the new TECC-West campus will hold more educational appliances, making these resources accessible to students without having to leave the classroom.

TECC-West Director and Principal Justin Gilbreath hopes that the new campus can help more students find an interest that suits them by expanding the range of courses offered.

“The need for additional programs that have student interests and to serve our community was really the focal point of building the new campus,” Gilbreath said.

According to Wilson, the career center can be beneficial to all LISD students, regardless of their plans after graduation. Most of the career center courses offer students the chance to receive a trade certification, which can get them a job right out of high school. Many students have used their trade certifications to support themselves while in college, even if they’re going into a different field.

“It just shows that we are here to serve a variety of kids, not just a narrow spectrum that I feel like has been portrayed over the years,” Wilson said.