Grand Prairie ISD

How High School Internships Are Leading to Full-Time Employment

Internship program is growing, giving high school students a taste of a career they may love

NBCUniversal, Inc.

With schools investing heavily in hands-on learning, classrooms look very different compared to before.

A program at Grand Prairie ISD's Dubiski Career High School is teaching automotive and heavy engineering as early as 9th grade.

"We definitely need some people in four-year careers. We need doctors, lawyers and other things. But if we have people to maintain equipment, build equipment, repair; we're not going to thrive as a society," said Lot Burdick, a teacher in the program.

They're not just teaching students about machinery. They're assigning them to work for heavy machines contractor Holt Cat, where they're paired up with tech and taught how to grow.

"I started off in the engineering program and jumped into welding and realized I like working with my hands, and I did this internship and been here ever since," said
Luis Huerta.

His internship ended at graduation and days later, he was on the job. A full-time employee with benefits and good wages.

"Being about to say, 'You're building 15,000-pound engines,' is spectacular," said Huerta.

There's a whole group of students waiting in the wings to be next. 

"They tell me, 'No matter what job they put you into, if you give it your best, you wind up getting hired,'" said Jose Pedroza.

His two older brothers went through the program. And he said from how he's seen them grow and succeed, he knows it's what he wants to do, too.

The program is growing. The hope is that it helps students not only see all options open to them, but get a taste, and possibly doing something they love. 

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