AUSTIN, Texas — Despite recent layoffs in the tech industry, Texas is seeing record job growth. The state added more than 48,000 positions in January.
Goodwill Central Texas is one organization providing in-demand career skills to those struggling to find a job.
"We offer industry-recognized credentials and certification programs at no cost to students who qualify," said Alexis Denny, senior director of the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy.
Students can choose from the four pillars of Goodwill's Career and Technical Academy: health care, skilled trades, professional and business, and technology.
“We're really thoughtful and strategic about the way that we select our programming,” Denny said. “We know that the programming that we offer sets students up to for jobs that we know are in-demand and well-paying.”
Some of those high-demand jobs include phlebotomy, Python programming, truck driving and an apartment leasing professional.
"It allows us to serve about 200 to 250 students a year that come through, and we typically award over 300 certifications each year,” Denny said.
Goodwill Central Texas has been around since 2012 but moved into the Henna Education Center in 2020. It houses a state-of-the-art construction and health care lab.
In addition to the Career and Technical Academy, Goodwill also offers the Excel Center, which gives students an opportunity to complete their high school diploma – something Giovanni Alpizar took advantage of.
"It's felt better than when I was, you know, a child or a teen, because now I feel like I'm more focused into it and I can actually put the work into doing what I have to do and not get easily distracted,” said Giovanni Alpizar, a 2022 graduate.
Thanks to Goodwill Texas, more than 2,000 people have been placed in jobs in 2021 alone and, each year, the organization continues adding more people to the Central Texas workforce.
To enroll in either the Career and Technical Academy or the Excel Center, you can apply on the Goodwill Central Texas website.