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Submit a wait list application online or by mail at:
500 Chestnut Street.
Abilene, TX 79602
You will be notified when funds become available.
For more information, please view
Workforce Solutions has a maximum amount of payment, which can be reimbursed to a Relative Provider up to the maximum rates established for that specific age group and type care.
To get on the waiting list for child care assistance, you can complete an online application or contact us and an application will be mailed to you.
Q: What format should the video be submitted in?
Q: Can a professional video production company create our video?
Q: When do entries have to be submitted?
Q: Where do I submit the video file(s)?
Q: What will be done with the videos after the contest?
Q: Do I need media releases for students participating in the contest?
Q: What is the purpose of this video contest?
Q: Can students/teachers from a private school participate?
Q: What grades are considered middle school and high school?
Q: Can school-sponsored organizations submit videos?
Q: If our video is selected as a finalist but we are not able to attend will we still receive the prize money?
Q: When and where will the winners be announced?
Q: Who will be judging the videos?
Q: What are the scoring criteria?
Q: What do you mean by "interview" an employer or person in the field of work?
Q: Do you have any resources that our students can reference for information?
Please discuss this with the mass layoff coordinator, who will give you the definite date. This may clear up any question that you might have with regard to column 25 (Claim Week Earnings) on your record that you submit.
If your employees were paid wages instead of giving them advance notice of the layoff, they are not eligible for benefits during the period covered by these wages.
It is suggested that the employer request a starting date that will coincide with his payroll date to simplify the timekeeping procedures.
A significant body of research has proven that students who have opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom to work settings can be beneficial. In addition to reporting improvements in competency, students who participate in WBL are more likely to earn higher wages in their future employment.
More recent research underscores the importance of the social capital young learners developed through work-based learning experiences, and just how valuable that can be for lifelong prospects. The supervisors, mentors, and colleagues that young workers engage with during a WBL experience can be transformational, especially during an era of “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”
Employers who partner to provide Work-based learning opportunities reap rewards, especially during tight labor markets. In addition to reporting increased innovation and improved workplace diversity (which in itself results in higher profit margins), more than 80 percent of employers that supported job-shadowing, internships, and apprenticeships reported increased productivity and output. Work-based learning is also a proven talent pipeline development strategy, with many students becoming long-term employees who are trained with the precise skills, knowledge, and capacities employers need
The Work-Based Learning program encourages paid internship experiences, enabling students to gain high-quality work-based experiences while not restricting participation to those who can afford to work without compensation. Texas minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. While employers can set their own rates, employer partners are encouraged to pay a competitive wage. The Texas Workforce Commission notes that employers report paying between $12-$15 per hour for internships, and more in some in-demand fields.
For roles that require tools and equipment or uniforms, employers may not deduct expenses for these materials to the extent that it would reduce the employee’s pay below minimum wage. Where appropriate, employers should consider providing necessary work tools and equipment directly. Where this is not possible, either because employers cannot accommodate additional expenses or because student workers cannot absorb additional costs, the employer should connect with Workforce Solutions. The Workforce Solutions team may be able to identify other funding sources to cover tools, materials, and uniforms for student workers.
Yes. With the exception of a few occupations, 16 and 17-year-olds are able to work in many different types of jobs. The students participating in WBL experiences supported through Workforce Solutions will have received some form of occupational training through their high school programming. Participants are also required to complete a Work Readiness workshop designed to ensure they understand their rights as workers and are prepared to succeed.
Students age 16-17 are restricted from working in particular occupations that have been deemed hazardous, including manufacturing of explosives, driver, coal mine occupations, logging and other occupations. For certain occupations, including woodworking, metal forming, saw use, roofing, and excavation jobs, student learners may be employed under a written agreement.
Typically, a student will be able to work 50-150 hours over 10-15 weeks, depending on the employer’s needs and the student’s academic and extracurricular obligations. During summer months, students may be able to work full-time.
In all employment relationships, there is the possibility that the employer or the employee wishes to end the arrangement. In the event the employer decides that the participant must be released prior to the end of the defined work-based learning experience, the employer is responsible for informing both the high school and Workforce Solutions. The decision to terminate the participant’s employment is entirely at the discretion of the employer for cause or convenience. The work-based learning participant may also voluntarily resign. In all cases, partners recognize that terminating the relationship may affect the participant’s high school graduation plan.
In the event the termination is for cause, it is understood that:
If the employee is terminated for convenience, it is understood that:
If the employee voluntarily resigns, it is understood that:
In positive situations, employers may wish to end their agreement to bring a student on as a full-time hire. While attention should be paid to ensuring the student can continue with their education and complete the credential aligned with the work-based learning experience, WBL-to-hire is a sign of a strong program. The employer should notify Workforce Solutions of their plans to make an offer and follow their standard hiring procedures.
To assess the workforce and social outcomes of the program, as well as to ensure that students from all backgrounds are able to participate, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas will work with partner high schools and employers to collect the following information:
Workforce Solutions will also conduct periodic check-ins with the student and employer to assess satisfaction and quality, and to continuously improve the program.
A 10'x10' booth space can be purchased for $50. Additional booth spaces are available for $25 each, but some years we have a sponsor to help with the cost. So be sure to check with us!
The 10'x10' space comes with 1 table, 2 chairs, electricity, free WiFi, continental breakfast, and 2 lunch tickets.
Yes! Nonprofits can purchase their booth space at half price.
Yes! We use PayPal to securely process credit card transactions online. After the registration form is complete, you will have the option of paying via PayPal on the confirmation page.
Yes! Checks for booth fees and extra lunch tickets can be made out and sent to us at the address below:
Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas
ATTN: WOW Youth Expo
500 Chestnut, Suite 1200
The WOW Youth Expo is at the Abilene Convention Center, 1100 N 6th Street, Abilene, TX 79601
The expo portion of the event begins at 10am and ends at 2pm. Get there early for free continental breakfast!
Yes! Booth fees include 2 free lunch tickets. If a business or organization needs more than 2 tickets for their representatives, they can be purchased for $10 each prior to the event.
The key to attracting youth to your booth is to have ENGAGING hands-on materials, activities, games, competitions, etc. The more real-world engagement your booth has, the more students will interact. Also, sending representatives who students can relate to is beneficial.
Exhibitors can bring in equipment and materials from 3-5pm the day before, or from 8-10am the day of. We just ask that you have your booth ready by 10am the morning of the event for students to enter the expo area at 10:15am.
We hope you will! Small vehicles, boats, etc. can fit in the exhibit hall. There is also outdoor exhibit space for large vehicles, cranes, machinery, trailers, etc.
Mock interviews are offered to junior and senior students, and provide the opportunity to practice an important skill in a real world setting with area professionals. This portion of the event will be "free flowing". As students check-in they will be paired with an interviewer. If all interviewers are matched then students will wait until an interviewer is available.
Interviews will begin at 10:20am and go until around 1:50pm. Juniors and seniors are encouraged to participate in an interview once released from the keynote, before they start visiting with the exhibitors.
Individual interviews will last approximately 20 minutes. They may be shorter or longer depending on how prepared the student is and how many questions the interviewer has.
Mock interviews will be held in a separate conference room of the Convention Center, away from exhibitor activities. The room will be setup with rows of tables and chairs for interviewers and interviewees. The exact room location will be sent prior to the event, and clearly marked the day-of!
Standard questions encountered in an interview for a real world job. Interviewers will be provided a list of sample questions for the interview as well as a feedback form; however, the interviewer will ultimately determine what questions he/she asks and the feedback provided.
Nope, just an interest in helping our youth prepare for their future!
The WOW Youth Expo features a keynote speaker and 100+ engaging exhibitors from business/industry, post-secondary schools, and regional organizations, as well as mock interviews for juniors and seniors. This event provides students a unique opportunity to engage with exhibitors from a variety of career clusters, immerse themselves in the world of work, and perhaps help them identify or verify their career pathway!
Parents are encouraged to visit the event anytime between 10am and 2pm. Pre-event registration for parents is not required but highly encouraged. If you would like to register, we would like you to do so at least a week prior to the event so we have enough materials prepared!
Nope! The WOW Youth Expo is free for schools, students, and parents to participate!
The event is for students in 8th-12th grade.
Yes! There is a place on the registration form for you to tell us if there are multiple groups attending at different start times from your campus.
The time you select is the time your school starts the event experience. When students arrive at WOW, they immediately go in to the keynote address before visiting with exhibitors and conducting mock interviews. The same keynote is scheduled three times to "kickoff" the event for that group of participating students. Having three different start times allows us to stagger students throughout the duration of the event so everybody has a great experience!
Schools are welcome to arrive beginning 30 minutes prior to their designated start time. The group prior may still be in he keynote though, so students will have space to wait outside the auditorium until the doors open for their session. We suggest that 10-15 minutes early is a good window.
Parents are encouraged to visit the event anytime between 10am and 2pm. Pre-event registration for parents is not required but highly encouraged. If they would like to register, they need to do so at least a week in advance so we have enough materials prepared!
We have a student worksheet designed specifically to help students get ready beforehand and actively engage with exhibitors on-site. Just let us know how many worksheets you need and we’ll mail them to your school!
Absolutely! We love having students participate as exhibitors to highlight programs, groups, or initiatives at their school. Just let us know on the registration form that you're interested!
No, but there is space to accommodate schools wishing to provide lunch to their students on-site before returning to their campus. Just let us know on the registration form if you'll need space for your students to eat!
Yes! There is no minimum (or maximum) amount of students required to attend WOW.
The benefits are endless! Being a WOW sponsor means your organization is investing in our future workforce. It also: creates interest in your products and services, promotes your organization regionally, and provides name recognition to a highly desirable audience.
It depends on the level, but all sponsorships will include booth space and exposure in print and electronic media for an entire year. Check out our sponsorship opportunities for details.
Not a problem! We have customized packages to meet your needs. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 325-795-4327.