WESLACO, RGV – A Weslaco-based program to mentor and teach students a business’s daily operations will take place in October.

Titled nCourage, the program has been developed by Weslaco ISD and the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce. It will take place from October 12 through 13, with a kick off at the Weslaco Business Visitor and Event Center. It is the second year the program has been operating.

“Many promising careers and professions exist in the area,” said Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Martha Noell. “With this program, we will encourage our youth to choose a profession in which they will excel. This program supports the development of a well-trained and happy workforce.”

Weslaco Chamber is currently looking for businesses that wish to participate.

Noell said the two-day program is designed to provide high schools students an opportunity to observe and interact in the daily operations of a participating local business. They will communicate with business leaders and institutions to shape their perspectives of Rio Grande Valley businesses. Within those two days, the students will be exposed to workplace operations and experience professional environments with the purpose of refining their career path at the end of the program.

“Implementing nCourage was the first step to building a prosperous partnership between students and the business community,” Magic Valley Electric Co-op Communications Coordinator, Weslaco Chamber Board Member and nCourage Committee Chair, Luis J. Reyes said. “Now, we need more business leaders to help us inspire the future workforce through the nCourage program.”

Last year, 78 students were part of the program and received training and mentoring from business leaders in the community. A total of 40 business participated in the program and gave a hands-on experience to those 78 students.

Weslaco ISD Assistant Superintendent Sue Peterson said the program was created to teach students leadership, trade-skills, business operations, business ethics, and hands-on business practices through the use of business site tours and one-on-one mentoring.

“We’re all about getting our kids ready for the future,” Peterson said. “We want to make sure they are ready with the skills they need to be highly successful at their jobs. We’re very excited about the collaboration that’s taking place between local businesses, the Weslaco Chamber and Weslaco ISD.”

Local businesses that would like to participate in the program can download an application at www.weslaco.com and return it to the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce by Wednesday, September 21.

Editor’s Note: The main photo that accompanies this story shows Weslaco High School student Joshua Espinoza receiving mentoring (last year) from Michael Cruz of International Bank of Commerce.