Gonzales CTE expanding beyond its available space


Gonzales High School’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) department has been providing students the skills they need to further their post-high-school career.

Jennifer Ervin is the CTE coordinator at the high school and she went over the 13 different programs the school offers.

“We have your welding, your cosmetology, culinary, floral design, graphic, audio visual education, multiple programs of studies for students to pursue as they work toward their career goals,­” Ervin said.

The benefit of the CTE programs is it’ll help students who are not sure what career path they want to follow, Ervin said.

“It's also very beneficial because there's a lot of kids that maybe don't want to go to college or, you know, they're not sure about trade school. So by going through these programs successfully completing them, they have the opportunity to earn a certification and it's a stepping stone into the workforce,” Ervin said.

The CTE program has impacted many students that have gone through it, and Ervin said that former students have reached out about the CTE and how they met their career goals, whether they’ve gone to college or are now working for the school district.

“Some are off going to be doctors and lawyers and all that kind of stuff. But then you've got kids and I'll just speak with my own child that graduated last year. He is at TSTC working on a welding certification. And he comes home and he's got a job offer already as soon as he completes his welding program up there because of what he learned over here at the welding shop,” Ervin said.

A $95.08 million bond election is around the corner for GISD, and one of the two bond propositions that Gonzales residents will vote on is a potential new CTE building.

Ervin was excited of the possibilities of having a new potential CTE building for the high school. She said she has done a lot of traveling and seen many CTE campuses.

“I just toured a facility not too long ago, and it's 20 years old. It's not brand spanking new, but they have the space in the facility. They have a vet tech program,” Ervin said.

One of the biggest concerns in the CTE program is facing is space, Ervin said.

“We cannot always buy the state of the art equipment, because we don't have the facilities, the infrastructure, the electrical setup, plumbing issues, and mainly just space, so a new building would allow us to have the space and the facilities that we need to give the kids the state of the art equipment to learn these programs,” Ervin said.

The high school has 10 wielding booths and the programs runs 147 students day, Ervin said.

“Our eighth period class, when we have two teachers who have a block class, we have 47 students in that club in that shop that's designed for maybe 15-16 max, so we have to share, and while my teachers don't mind sharing, our kids are not getting the full benefit of the program,” Ervin said.

“Spacing is one of the biggest issues that we face. If it comes down to it, we'll have to do a lotto system for students to get into these programs if we keep growing and that's something that we don't ever want to see happen because then kids that might really want to pursue it may not be able to be in that program,” Ervin added.