Abilene: The Key City

March 1, 2019Marissa Thompson, Director of Talent Development Abilene Industrial Foundation

Key: (noun) something used to open or unlock; (adjective) something of paramount or crucial importance.

Both definitions speak true of Abilene, The Key City, and our vibrant community members that are its foundation.

Many individuals in our beloved community work hard to foster growth, health and connectivity. As we continue to open doors here locally, we look to our community partners and members to help prepare, connect, and mentor Abilene’s next generation of leaders and workforce by ensuring quality education and guidance to opportunities, resources and build community.

Education program offerings and educators are of crucial importance as it serves to instruct and prepare students, our future leaders.

WE-Connect is an externship program, hosted by Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas and Region 14 Education Service Center, that helps to connect the academic world to the business world. This program gives employers the opportunity to explain to educators what their industry is all about, career opportunities available, create a lasting partnership, equip educators and market their business. If your business would be interested in learning more about the WE-Connect externship program, please click here. Externships will be hosted in June and July and are completely customizable by the business. There is limited space and our employers need to register by Friday, March 8. Externships provide our educators the ability to gain insights, enhance classroom curriculum, and deliver students information they need to make informed career decisions, better preparing them to succeed and thrive as individuals here in Abilene.

Local school districts work to provide students with tools before they graduate and transition into the workforce or onto post-secondary education. Post high school graduation these young-adults still need consistent and reliable guidance.  Key Connections, a mentorship program targeting at-risk young adults 18-25, is looking to gain mentors that will help our young adults open more doors in their lives by focusing on career development, financial responsibility, and life skills. The goal is to help our young adults become contributing members to Abilene. Mentors will be intentionally paired one-on-one with a local young adult for one year and are encouraged to engage through community or e-based settings a minimum of once a month. The Key Connections’ program and community partners will provide resources to help guide valuable activities to our participants. Key Connections program partners include: Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Texas, CASA of the Big Country, Communities in Schools of The Big Country, NEXTUniversity, and the Abilene Industrial Foundation. Our partners will work to recommend and refer young adults to participate.  We now look to our community leaders, that’s you, to help unlock opportunities to our community’s next leaders.  If you are interested in being a mentor, please fill out a mentor application here.

As we continue to collectively work together, education connecting with business and different generations helping one another, more doors open creating a more inclusive, diverse and up-skilled workforce that is paramount to the success of our community.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *