Fort Worth ISD and Tarrant County College Will Merge Advisory Boards
Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and Tarrant County College Chancellor Eugene Giovannini have agreed to merge their respective advisory boards – the groups of industry professionals who provide valuable connections between educators and industry in preparing students to enter the workforce. The decision came during an hour-plus virtual summit discussing Fort Worth’s future workforce.
The merger of the advisory boards will increase collaboration between educators and industry as they create programs for students. It also represents a huge step forward for career and technical education as Fort Worth prepares for a new kind of workforce in a post-COVID 19 environment.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who also participated in the virtual summit, hailed the decision as a way to make a difference in the future of Fort Worth. “Having one focus is always good. It allows for a better use of our resources as we come out of this COVID 19.”
Dr. Scribner referred to the adage, “form follows function” as he described this new alignment. “If in fact, we are looking toward a cradle-to-career initiative in Fort Worth, it would only make sense that we align that work and bring advisory groups together.”
Dr. Giovannini said the new alignment could help create “the opportunity for the business community to engage us seamlessly in a progression from high school to college. It will certainly pay great benefits.”
The decision to merge advisory boards was one of several highlights from the Zoom event. Titled “Fort Worth: Where the Best Begins,” it was part of a partnership between Fort Worth ISD, Tarrant County College, and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to better understand how education and industry can work together to meet current and future workforce needs.
Mayor Price began the summit with breaking news about the new order issued by Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and mayors from various Tarrant County municipalities requiring masks be worn through August 3 as a way to stay safe while conducting business.
The summit, moderated by Fort Worth ISD Executive Director for Career & Technical Education Daphne Rickard, also allowed viewers to ask questions during the event which could be answered by the panelists.
In addition to Dr. Scribner, Mayor Price and Dr. Giovannini, the virtual summit featured nine guest panelists representing a cross-section of Fort Worth business and industry:
- Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO DeVoyd Jennings
- Lockheed Martin Director for HR Economic Development Opportunities, Strategic Workforce Initiatives Jon Gustafson
- Medical City Fort Worth Chief Medical Officer Dr. Terry Loftus
- Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce CEO Brandom Gengelbach
- Dig Contracting Owner Dante Williams
- Cisneros Restaurants, Inc. President Vicki Cisneros
- Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Anette Landeros
- T3 (Tarrant To and Through) acting executive director and Rainwater Charitable Foundation program manager Jay McCall
- Bell Director of Workforce Planning and Strategy Cara Lundquist
The summit followed eight industry-focused virtual discussions, or mini-summits, held in early June. The individual sessions focused on aviation and aerospace; transportation, both distribution and logistics; hospitality and culinary; IT and cybersecurity business; small businesses: the construction industry: general business; and health care.
Organizers from FWISD, TCC, and the Chamber listened during the mini-summits as business leaders shared stories of how this pandemic has impacted their businesses.