The Texas IT Academy—the state's “farm system” for bringing more high-tech employees into the fold—was a rousing success the first year. Our 29 new high-tech employees graduated in the fall and are now working in the information technology (IT) departments of 16 state agencies in Austin.
10 Principles for Texas
in the 21st Century
Develop a better-educated workforce
Direct more of every education dollar into the classroom
Raise the bar on student performance
Cut taxes in Texas
Introduce competition into Texas government
Improve government performance and accountability
Reduce the size of government
Bring common sense to regulations
Use technology to cut costs and increase quality
Return control to communities and individuals
The Texas IT Academy was created last year as a public-private partnership to help fill high-tech state jobs. A part of my e-Texas initiative, the academy was designed to train college graduates and professionals looking for a career or new opportunities in the IT field. Our first class had students from all over the state including Hamilton, Mission, El Paso, Texarkana, Prairie Lea, San Antonio and Austin.
I am proud to announce that the success of this program prompted the 2001 Legislature to budget for four more classes that will graduate an estimated 120 more people to fill our growing high-tech needs over the next two years. The academy has become a model for recruiting, training and retaining talented men and women in the state's IT workforce.
There is a huge demand for highly skilled technical workers in Texas, and the pressure for talent is growing in state government. Texas can't afford to fall behind because one day soon, e-government will be government.
Approximately 34,000 information technology jobs are currently open in Texas, including an estimated 800 in state government. Private high-tech companies joined our office and other state agencies to provide staff and expertise for the school. The program, beginning in the fall of 2001, will be based in Austin and will cover application development, analysis/administration, e-business and systems administration.
Students attending the Texas IT Academy earn an entry-level salary while they learn, and agree to work for the state for at least two years after they graduate. Following that commitment, they may remain with the state or pursue other opportunities.
Anyone, at any age, can apply for the academy. All you need is a four year college degree and the interest, aptitude and commitment to be an IT worker.
Texas IT Academy applications are available online at www.texasitacademy.org or by calling 1-800-252-1390.