ShopBot® training develops high level skills for students entering workforce upon release

The Windham School District continues to develop new opportunities for growth in Career and Technical (CTE) programming, including the addition of training with ShopBot®. This training prepares students for middle-skill STEM jobs within the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Vocational educators learn ShopBot® skills and teaching techniques for Windham classrooms in TDCJ facilities across the state.  Training is ongoing and aimed at helping students obtain middle-skill STEM abilities.

Vocational educators learn ShopBot® skills and teaching techniques for Windham classrooms in TDCJ facilities across the state.  
Training is ongoing and aimed at helping students obtain middle-skill STEM abilities.

 

"These new courses have been designed, developed, and implemented to reach even more students while elevating the skill level of the overall training program," WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter said. "Improvement has been accomplished by first offering basic or core courses to students for mastery of basic skills. These skills are then applied to a variety of "next step" training within more specialized areas, encouraging students to reach for higher achievement and better employment opportunities. ShopBot® training is an example of these high-level, high-skills programs, and employers seek tradesmen with these skills. As WSD improves its teacher skill levels, our students receive more advanced instruction and are better able to build a skill set within their areas of interest."
ShopBot® training involves a digital fabrication tool used for precisely cutting, carving, drilling, or machining products from various materials. Software is used to design parts on a computer, and the computer controls the cutter to precisely customize parts. The addition of the ShopBot® tool to Auto CAD and Cabinetmaking classes allows students to develop a skillset which is readily transferrable to other machine operating formats. The ShopBot® course provides middle-skill STEM training resulting in a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) certification.

"It's our job to help offenders develop job skills, technical knowledge, academic rigor, and real-world experience for high-demand careers," Carpenter said. "This is the path we are taking to help men and women increase their earning power and make their lives more successful after release from TDCJ."

Career and Technical Education teachers gather in Huntsville to spend time engaged in ShopBot® skills training. They will share their training with students in Windham schools who are preparing for employment upon release from prison.

Career and Technical Education teachers gather in Huntsville to spend time engaged in ShopBot® skills training.
They will share their training with students in Windham schools who are preparing for employment upon release from prison.

Windham has an extensive vocational training program, including 42 different vocational trades. The district has significantly expanded these programs for offenders serving shorter sentences, and last year the district awarded 18,532 industry-recognized certifications.

 

 

Success Stories

Success Story IconNEW - I’m so grateful I took welding -
"I’m so grateful I took welding; I’ve come so far in my career because the things I was taught in that program".

Success Story IconNEW - They didn’t give up - "It makes me feel really good to know that these guys aren’t giving up just because they’re in prison."

Success Story IconNEW - Learning equals possibilities - "Being incarcerated since I was young, I have had my share of trials and struggles. But knowing every morning that I may..."

Success Story IconNEW - I can now make a living. I’m free - "The welding program helped me build character. Mr. Perry taught me how to talk like a welder..."

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WSD in Images

Vocational and academic skills are integrated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as this Small Engine Repair class in Huntsville, Texas.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Female offenders in Gatesville, Texas, study to improve their literacy skills during a WSD academic class.
Auto specialization students in a West Texas prison learn auto maintenance skills, preparing themselves for future employment as professional mechanics.
Each day WSD correctional educators pass through prison gates across Texas to work with men and women incarcerated within TDCJ.
Students at the Huntsville “Walls” Unit strengthen writing skills during a literacy class.