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High demand for technical classes has Amarillo schools looking into changes

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A high demand for technical workers has the Amarillo School District thinking about making some additions to the curriculum.

Recent changes to graduation requirements are giving high school students more flexibility when it comes to choosing classes. Members of the Amarillo School District tell us they see more students looking for technical courses, which local shop owners say is a positive sign.  

"I really do think it will benefit the industry," said Gus Lomas, the owner of Star Truck and Auto Collision in Amarillo. "Right now it's kinda hard to find body shop techs, body guys, and its hard to find paint techs. There's not enough guys out there right now," he said.

To help prepare students for these kinds of jobs, the district is looking into specific area's where the demand is high. 

"The thing we are doing right now is really taking our students, trying to figure out by visiting with our students and counseling, what their interest are, what programs do we need to expand, what programs do we need to add," said Career and Technical Education Director LeAnn Estep.

The process may take some time, but Estep says she thinks the changes will benefit students and help better prepare them for the future.

"We're really trying to tie all of our programs, our technical programs to is either an industry certification and college credit. We want our students coming out with either some college credits so they can go straight into Amarillo College or any college and have that count towards a certificate or a degree," she said.

Just last year the district added a machining class to keep up with the student and industry demand.

They tell us the new graduation requirements will help students  focus on what they want, which will in turn help prepare students for the technical industry.
     
Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10

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