UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
WACO -- Building the Central Texas business industry now starts at the high school level,
Waco ISD and surrounding school districts have partnered up to create one technical school.
And the Waco Business League is also pitching in so the school can design curriculum that will lead to jobs.
"They're going to talk to member companies and companies around the Waco area to see what they need in terms of advanced welding, advanced manufacturing and we're actually going to cater our program and design it to meet those needs," said Donna McKethan, director of career and college readiness for Waco ISD.
Advanced training courses will include rocketry, engineering math and a hands-on physics class.
"A high school diploma is not enough anymore and so this would give them some training they might otherwise get after high school. But we're going to give them in high school so they can go straight into the workforce and be ready," said McKethan.
Students will also receive dual credit through TSTC and will have the opportunity to continue the program there to earn an associate's degree after high school graduation.
So who is paying for all this?
Funding will be split between the school districts and McKethan says this program is possible because Waco ISD consolidated schools.
"You can house them in one building and cut those costs and by cutting those costs we'll be able to do programs like this," said McKethan.
Any district that surrounds Waco ISD has the option to participate in the program.