HISD unveils plans for new certification program at Washington High School

Dr. Grier at the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development luncheon .

Dr. Grier announced plans for the HILZ program at Washington High School.

The new program will offer students manufactory, engineering, and technology training and certifications

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier announced plans to create a new manufacturing, engineering, and technology program at Booker T. Washington High School during an Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development luncheon Thursday, Feb. 2.

The new program is part of a proposal to establish the Houston Innovative Learning Zone (HILZ) schools, which would offer students at six Houston ISD campuses the chance to earn associate’s degrees and receive career training in high-demand technical fields.

The proposed schools would be:

  • The School of Manufacturing Engineering Technology at Washington
  • The School of Electronic Engineering at Furr
  • The School for Process Technology at Kashmere
  • The School for Pharmacy Technology at Long
  • The School for Network and Computer Administration at Scarborough
  • The School of Logistics and Global Supply at Sterling

Grier said the HILZ program at Washington High School will provide students with certifications and invaluable mentoring and networking opportunities.

“Not only will they have a two-year degree, they will also have relationships with businesses and that’s how you get jobs,” Grier said during the chamber lunch. 

Students who successfully complete the four-year program would graduate high school with an associate’s degree and valuable industry credentials that lead to rewarding careers in high-growth technical fields.

Washington’s popular magnet program, The High School for the Engineering Professions, continues to thrive. But overall attendance at the school has dwindled in recent years. State Representative Sylvester Turner said he hopes the new program, as well as plans for a new automotive shop, will help bring more students to the campus.

“The kids want opportunities where they can learn and get training and leave Booker T. and get a job that pays them good money,” he said. “There will now be a good mix for all different kinds of students.”

The HILZ program was created as a direct response to frequent requests from students and the Houston community for HISD to bolster its portfolio of Career and Technology Education offerings.

Working in partnership with the Houston Community College System, HISD will be prepared to open these six new HILZ academies in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

The HILZ school program is scheduled to be presented to the HISD Board of Education for possible approval at the Board’s regular meeting on Feb. 9, 2012.