HCDE Adult Education students had the chance to explore new beginnings this week at its second Contact to Careers Job and Resource Fair of the year.
“I’ve been in the U.S. for a year and a half, and I’m looking for a job that will help me improve my English language skills,” said Marly Naranjo, an ESL student. “I have an MBA and was a realtor in my country, but I know I will be able to earn an administrative role once I improve my English.”
More than 110 current or former GED, ESL, and career readiness certificate program students gathered for the daylong event to network with potential employers, community organizations, or vocational schools such as Marek Brothers Construction, WorkTexas, AVANCE, and Harris County Precinct 2.
Partners like WorkTexas, one of three trade schools opened by Gallery Furniture’s Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, work with HCDE’s Adult Education division to offer students vocational training such as welding and plumbing after they complete fundamentals like a GED, or ESL and computer literacy courses.
Employee Engagement Project Manager Michael Chevalier explains that under the Contact to Careers program, HCDE’s Adult Education division aims to help students not just obtain a GED, English language skills, or workforce certifications—but also find a job.
“We want to be a one-stop-shop,” said Chevalier. “I’m at this event networking with our employers and community partners to get their feedback on what they’ve heard from attendees. We want to help provide opportunities for students if they express an interest in something specific like home healthcare.”
During the event, a laptop and a free year of internet connection donated by Comcast and Telemundo Houston were raffled off. Attendees also had the opportunity to connect with various community partners offering resources such as financial literacy and first-time homebuying services.
Adult education classes to be offered in the spring semester will become available in the coming weeks.
To learn more about HCDE’s Adult Education division, visit hcde-texas.org/adulteducation.