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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 6:00 AM

Samsung hosts two Taylor High teachers

Samsung Austin Semiconductor and the Taylor Independent School District have partnered once again. Two Taylor High School teachers visited the semiconductor factory in Austin for three days last week, July 11-13, as part of the Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s Educator Externship Program.
Marvin Croft and Amy Heffernan, two Taylor High School teachers, posed with two teachers from Austin ISD during last week’s externship program. Photo courtesy of Samsung Austin Semiconductor.
Marvin Croft and Amy Heffernan, two Taylor High School teachers, posed with two teachers from Austin ISD during last week’s externship program. Photo courtesy of Samsung Austin Semiconductor.

Samsung Austin Semiconductor and the Taylor Independent School District have partnered once again.

Two Taylor High School teachers visited the semiconductor factory in Austin for three days last week, July 11-13, as part of the Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s Educator Externship Program.

During the externship, teachers worked alongside the semiconductor employees to learn about which skills are employable and what the company’s culture is like. Marvin Croft, a welding teacher at Taylor High School who participated in the externship, said he is going to relay what he learned to his students.

“When students talk about semiconductors and what they do, I now have first-hand knowledge and can explain to them what it is and what you can do,” Croft said. “It really gave me inside knowledge of what they’re looking for and what they’re doing here.”

According to research by E3 Alliance, only 12% of young adults without a credential, certification, or degree within six years of graduating high school have a chance of earning a living wage.

The externship program is designed to address these statistics by creating a more skilled talent pool in the local community. Once teachers know about the businesses around them, they can mold parts of the curriculum to groom students into workers who can get those jobs.

The two teachers from Taylor High School who visited the semiconductor factory can tell their students Samsung has certain jobs which do not require a high school degree.

“This is just another way I can help students who are really good with their hands and mechanically inclined, who may not want to go to a four-year school or even a technical school,” Croft said. “The growth is fast paced. If you have the willingness and desire, you can move up.”

This summer marked WSF’s fourth time hosting the externship program. One hundred educators and counselors across the Austin area partnered with local businesses in three-day paid externships this summer, WSF officials said.

Each teacher received a $1,000 stipend for their time. During the visit to the semiconductor factory, two teachers from the Austin Independent School District also joined the externship.

Since Samsung announced it would build its next semiconductor plant in Taylor in 2021, some local residents have been concerned about how the company will impact the town.

Amy Heffernan, an engineering and robotics teacher at Taylor High School, believes her externship experience can help bridge the gap between Samsung and Taylor.

“A lot of people have trepidation about such a big company coming into a relatively small town, but I think it will help people see the opportunities that it’s bringing,” Heffernan said.

Samsung expects its Taylor facility to directly create over 2,000 hightech jobs.


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