Workforce and Education Community College Apprenticeship Network in Texas (WE CAN TX)

WE CAN TX is a peer-learning network that brings together leaders from across the state to support building education-to-workforce pathways that lead Texans to livable-wage jobs. Leaders from community colleges and workforce organizations partner to develop and expand innovative, modern work-based learning experiences and academic structures (e.g. internships and youth apprenticeships) that address employer needs in high-demand careers.

WE CAN TX aims to increase the number of students who earn postsecondary credentials and are working in high-demand industries that pay a livable wage, with a vision of ensuring equitable outcomes for first-generation, low-income students of color across Texas and meeting the talent and workforce demands of businesses. 

Benefits of Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning

For Students:

  • Earn while you learn, and get paid a competitive wage
  • Attain an industry certification upon graduation, widely recognized and accepted by employers
  • Gain real work experience and high-quality training paid for by the employer
  • Boost employability and future earning potential

For Employers:

  • Create a diverse workforce and steady workforce pipeline
  • Attract new talent pools 
  • Gain highly skilled employees to boost economic growth
  • Reduce employee turnover

Our Goals

  • Enhance Regional Capacity and Align to Employer Needs: Partners in each regional team will receive technical assistance to develop and expand work-based learning opportunities and infrastructure in high-demand industries.
  • Innovate for Equity: Network members will receive guidance to design work-based learning programs that ensure equitable access and more successful outcomes for underserved and economically disadvantaged students of color.
  • Scale and Sustain: Regional teams will expand and sustain the work by using common definitions and data, developing local backbones, establishing industry partnerships, and braiding funding from different education and workforce sources.

Targeted Technical Assistance

Our coaching for network members is organized within small groups in order to focus special attention on sharing best practices in these areas:

  • Employer Partnerships: Reimagining how employers partner with higher education and workforce organizations institutions to better promote work-based learning and apprenticeship programs that connect people to jobs.
  • Non-Credit to Credit Pathways: Studying the opportunities and obstacles for higher education institutions to offer courses that are both employer-relevant and credit-bearing, and promoting a transition from non-credit to for credit employment pathways.
  • New Pathway Design and Development: Using labor-market data and evidence from stakeholders to recommend new and innovative pathways that consider workforce supply and demand.

WE CAN TX Network Members by Region

Region Partnership Lead(s)
Central Texas 1. Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Austin Community College
North Texas 2. Dallas College
3. North Central Texas College
4. Tarrant County College
East Texas 5. Tyler Junior College
Gulf Coast 6. Lee College
7. San Jacinto College
Panhandle 8. Amarillo College
West Texas 9. Workforce Solutions West Central Texas
South Texas 10. Alamo Colleges District and SA Works
11. South Texas College and RGV FOCUS