BROWNSVILLE, Texas – On Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC) hosted their second annual Rally in the Valley Conference.
The networking event, held at the Brownsville Events Center, connected high school students from Brownsville ISD with prominent industry partners offering student internship opportunities.
The Texas Workforce Commission participated, including Aaron Demerson, the commissioner representing employers on the TWC board.
Brownsville Mayor and GBIC Chairman of the Board John Cowen, Jr., said the dynamic networking event aimed to connect local high school students with prominent industry partners offering student internship opportunities. He said students attending will gain invaluable insights into potential career paths, engage with industry experts, and could even secure an internship with one of Brownsville’s leading employers.
“With the annual Rally in the Valley 2.0, GBIC emphasizes the importance of interactions between local students and industry leaders,” Cowen said. “Such engagements not only enlighten students about internship opportunities, but they also help them recognize and articulate their professional interests.”
Bret Gardella, CEO and executive director of GBIC, was just as enthusiastic about the event.
“This event, encapsulates our commitment to fostering the future of Brownsville,” said Bret Gardella, CEO and Executive Director of the GBIC. “We recognize the unmatched potential of Brownsville students. These young individuals are not just the future of our community, but also the key drivers of innovation and growth for the entire region.”
One of the panelists was Ron Garza, associate vice president for workforce and economic development at UT-Rio Grande Valley. The panel discussion was titled: Bridging the Workforce Gap Between Industry and Education.
Here is an audio recording of everything Garza said during the panel discussion. GBIC’s Gardella was the panel moderator.
One of the major highlights of the event is Texans Interns Unite, a robust digital platform that bridges the gap between students and employee employers across the state of Texas for potential internship collaborations. This leading statewide initiative ardently challenges employers to elevate and advocate for more student internships in Texas.
One of the major highlights of the event was Texans Interns Unite, a robust digital platform that bridges the gap between students and employee employers across the state of Texas for potential internship collaborations. This leading statewide initiative ardently challenges employers to elevate and advocate for more student internships in Texas.
The Texas Internship Challenge, a crucial component of the GBIC conference, provided a no-cost portal for students to connect seamlessly with employers offering both paid and unpaid internships.
The Texas Internship Challenge was created out of a recommendation from the Tri-Agency Initiative set up by Gov. Greg Abbott. The Tri-Agency Initiative comprises the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Employers interested in offering paid internships for undergraduate Texas college and university students could secure reimbursement through TXWORKS. For the academic year 2022-2023, the state has pledged to fund $10 per hour for qualifying internships, with participating employers matching this contribution.
The Rally in the Valley 2.0 was made possible through the collective efforts of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, in conjunction with the City of Brownsville, Texas Workforce Commission, the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, Workforce Solutions Offices – Cameron County and Lower Rio Grande Valley and TXWORKS.
Editor’s Note: Click here to visit the Texas Internship Challenge website.
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