Midlothian, Texas, is setting the bar high when it comes to cultivating connections that result in real-world workplace solutions.
In a global business climate where workforce issues are a paramount concern and skills gap discussions are commonly heard, Midlothian city, business, and educational leaders are striving to create positive change.
Perhaps one word best defines Midlothian’s efforts: Collaboration.
In enterprising ways, Midlothian community leaders are joining forces to ensure that the city’s current dynamic environment of today continues to energize a sustainable and successful tomorrow.
Here are just a few examples:
- Conversations Over Coffee: In an effort to stay connected with local industry, Midlothian Economic Development (MED) hosts quarterly breakfast meetings at the community’s Courtyard by Marriott hotel. These informal meetings offer a platform for local plant managers to discuss a variety of topics – workforce challenges, pertinent industry certifications, potential partnership opportunities with local and regional educational partners, best practices, and more. These meetings have generated a greater network of communication.
- TSTC Tours: The North Texas campus of Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in nearby Red Oak offers tremendous technical training options to not only students looking to further their education, but also to adults who wish to upgrade their skills, as well as employers seeking to elevate their employees’ technical proficiency. To enhance employers’ understanding of TSTC’s programs, MED has connected with TSTC Provost Marcus Balch to offer multiple tours of TSTC’s Red Oak facility. Plant managers can experience TSTC up close and personal – seeing students in action, meeting current instructors, and getting a look at TSTC’s labs, equipment, and classrooms. Visiting companies learn about TSTC’s ability to offer customized education program for a variety of industries, spanning everything from HVAC technology and diesel equipment technology to industrial maintenance, precision machining, and much more.
- CTE Certifications: The Midlothian Independent School District (MISD) offers top-notch curriculum that meets a variety of student needs and empowers students for life beyond high school. Critical to that effort is career and technical education (CTE), which gives students the opportunity to graduate high school prepared to enter the workforce with technical skills. MED has helped connect area businesses with Nikki Nix, Midlothian ISD secondary education director, to discuss industry certification needs in OSHA safety practices, welding, automotive systems, electrical engineering, health sciences, cybersecurity, and more. Currently, MISD offers a variety of certifications ranging from AWD Welding, ASE Automotive, and OSHA 10-Hour to ServSafe, certified nursing assistant (CNA), emergency medical technician (EMT), and more. MISD is also working with local companies to increase internship and mentoring opportunities for MISD students. MISD consistently partners with local campuses of Navarro College and Tarleton State University to enhance the district’s offering of CTE courses and dual credit classes. MED is committed to supporting and enhancing these public-private partnerships, as well.
- Tech Talent Scholarship Fund: Built upon a foundation of steel, cement, quality education, and sophisticated country living, Midlothian is a community that understands the value of technical education. Which is why MED created the Midlothian Workforce/Careers Scholarship Fund in 2018. Through partnerships with local industry, MED is providing funds to The TSTC Foundation’s Texan Success Scholarship to benefit TSTC students from Midlothian or from within the boundaries of the MISD. Partnerships such as this are fueling student interest in technical occupations, addressing the skills gap, and helping to train more middle-skilled workers. Several Midlothian companies have contributed to the fund.
- Midlothian Business Institute: According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, and 49.2 percent of private-sector employment. In other words, small businesses are vital to the overall health of a community. To help support Midlothian’s small business scene, MED, together with the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce and area businesses, formed the Midlothian Business Institute in 2017 to foster local entrepreneurial evolution and innovation. Its inaugural business course, Accelerate Entrepreneurship, was offered in 2018 through Tarleton State University’s continuing education program at the Midlothian Higher Education Center (MHEC). Community business leaders from diverse backgrounds provided insightful instruction on topics such as taxation, marketing, accounting, and more. Planning for future courses is underway. A shining testament to Midlothian’s progressive atmosphere, the Midlothian Business Institute showcases the city’s inviting spirit and exemplifies local business leaders’ desire to give back to their community.
As a North Texas community on the fast track forward, it’s refreshing to see that collaboration on many levels is shaping Midlothian’s exponential growth.
And while there are many changes occurring across Midlothian’s landscape, its community spirit has proven enduring as ever.
For more information, visit Midlothian online.