Rockwall EDC: Growing Our Own Workforce

(ROCKWALL, TX – Aug. 12, 2016) Internships and job shadowing offer an up-close look at the real world workplace and provide learning opportunities with real work experience.

The Rockwall Economic Development Corporation was created 20 years ago to broaden and diversify the tax base by bringing industry to Rockwall. The success of the REDC is evident in the businesses that fill Rockwall Technology Park and occupy many acres along the railway on Justin Road. These industries have added over a billion dollars to the Rockwall tax base and have created thousands of jobs.

Rockwall is positioned as the premiere place for corporate industry, and the REDC is the driving force behind economic growth in Rockwall. While REDC works to attract corporate relocations as well as expand existing business, talented workforce with the right skillset is always a challenge. 

“There are many considerations given to a city and state when a large industry explores the option to move or expand their organization. One of the most important things to them is the talent and availability of a workforce. REDC is bringing many large corporations to Rockwall that are providing hundreds of new jobs in our community,” said Sheri Franza, REDC president and CEO. “It is critical that we prepare our upcoming workforce so they are able to step into jobs upon graduation from high school or college. REDC is proud to provide internship opportunities for our residents and create a pathway to a well-paid career for them.”

The REDC and many Rockwall industries provide internships to high school and college students. REDC internships are educational, inspirational, and purposeful. Participants gain valuable experience through active participation in real job experiences. It gives them an opportunity to be responsible for individual projects, understand strategic planning and budgeting, attend weekly staff meetings, and understand how to work with other professionals. Collectively, these elements add to the value of an internship which better position the individual to land that once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity.

“Internships are a win-win for companies and students,” said Nora Harding, Human Resources Director at Special Products & Manufacturing, Inc. “It allows us to connect and build relationships with students while they are in their college and high school vocations. In addition, it helps to build a strong pool of good candidates who have worked with us and already know SPM and our associates.”

Former REDC intern Shelby Coleman said, “My internship at the REDC has proven to be invaluable as I’ve developed my career in marketing over the past three years in Rockwall. Working with the REDC set me up for success by giving me practical work experience as I pursued my career in advertising after graduating from the University of Texas. The intern position expanded my network in ways that are still valuable today.” 

Preparing Rockwall’s workforce for the abundant job opportunities is paramount to the REDC. When you consider your next hire, don’t overlook an intern.

By Sheri Franza, Rockwall EDC President & CEO.

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