COPPERAS COVE — Several new workforce training courses may become available to Copperas Cove High School students next year as the school district staff continues efforts with a special task force.

The Workforce Development Task Force has narrowed down a list of several prospective job training courses to three district priorities, Copperas Cove Independent School District Deputy Superintendent Richard Kirkpartick said during a presentation to the board of trustees Monday.

The three priorities included a health science course for the certified medical assistant program. An architecture and construction course for specifically construction technology — which provides an overview of electrical, framing, plumbing, masonry and possibly welding — also was on the list. The third priority was an auto technology and small-engine technology course.

“All our kids are not going to college, but all of them are going into the workforce,” Kirkpatrick said.

“(These courses are) a means for them to earn money right out of high school.”

Those programs also could and should put graduating students into jobs in the local community, Kirkpatrick said.

The task force was created by the district to involve several local businesses and labor force stakeholders, such as Central Texas College and the Central Texas Workforce Center, in developing workforce programs for students.

About 20 task force members have met three times to discuss what skills students should be developing to have jobs in Copperas Cove, Kirkpatrick said.

While only three courses were listed as priorities, the task force has developed a lot more and will continue to do so. “Let’s get our dreams on the table,” Kirkpatrick said.

The district can worry about funding courses and programs after it knows and prioritizes the needs of the community and students.

Details, such as space to conduct classes, still need to be finalized, but Superintendent Joseph Burns hopes the three courses could be offered next year.

“We would love to have the option of some of this to come to fruition,” he said.

One possibility is retrofitting portions of the Avenue E auditorium to provide space for classes and building a garage for the auto mechanics class on the same site, Burns said.

The board has discussed the possibility of using the Avenue E site as a career and technical education high school.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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