A simple suggestion made by an Odessa Chamber of Commerce board member will impact the City of Odessa for years to come.
Beginning next Fall, ECISD will offer students a new Energy Curriculum. The idea behind the curriculum came from Ted Hogan, Odessa Chamber of Commerce board member, when he was asked to oversee ECISD's Carreer Technology Center last August.
"I went to my first meeting and we toured the campus, and they didn't have any curriculum on energy. I made a mistake and asked why not," says Hogan. When school officials said it had never been under consideration, Hogan started thinking of ways to make it happen.
The first thing he needed was a committee of experts from different areas of the industry. So he made some phone calls and was able to put together a perfect mix of members from across the industry board. "We have people from the oil and gas companies, service companies, plant production facilities, manufacturers," he says.
Once the committee was complete, the brainstorming began. "We had some basic ideas of what we, as employers, needed. And ECISD's Ian Roark, he came up with some curriculum that had been approved by the State of Texas. "
Then, after months of hard work, ECISD signed off on the idea. Beginning next year, 11th and 12th grade students at OHS and Permian High will be able to learn about all aspects of the energy industry. "It's really not designed to push students in one direction or another, but to give the wide range of options that exist," says ECISD's Ian Roark, Director of Career and Technology Education.
In other words, it's not just limited to oil and gas.The curriculum also offers education in the alternative forms of energy that are creating job opportunities in West Texas, including wind, clean coal, nuclear and solar energy.
Hogan stresses that the goal isn't for these high school students to head straight into the workforce once they get their diplomas, but to spark their interest so they'll want to continue their education after high school. "If they do go to college, great, because every bit of education they get is better for us as employers," he says."They come back and we have a better pool to hire from."
For more information, click on video.