What if the Valley had a community college that could design, develop and deliver quality workforce training programs for the private or public sectors in a short amount of time? The types of programs often associated with highly successful outcomes. Good news! Texas Southmost College can.
In fact, this past April, TSC just wrapped up the first Leadership Academy course designed specifically to meet the Department of Homeland Security’s needs. “The DHS came to us asking for a program to develop leadership and knowledge skills for front line supervisors. It took us six months from the time of that discussion about concept to the time we delivered the complete program. That is how fast our community college can respond to our partners” said Dr. Joseph Fleishman, Assistant Vice President of instruction for workforce training and continuing education.
Fleishman and his team came up with the Leadership Academy concept. For two weeks, Border Patrol agents experience college life from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. They learn how to balance the challenges of leadership, the process of effectively transitioning from a person who is told what to do to one who tells others what to do, about strategies and philosophies of leaders. During the inaugural class, agents had the opportunity to ask questions with guest speakers such as judges who presented them with court proceedings and constitutional law. It is not required for agents to wear their uniforms. The course was scheduled for a time that was convenient for DHS. Fleishman expects to begin a second 2-week course in the fall. Enrollment per course averages 20 students and his goal is to have the Leadership Academy available every single week to serve 350 to 500 agents per year. “The Border Patrol were excellent partners; wonderful to work with. If we can help them be better supervisors and make their lives easier that’s a privilege” said Fleishman.
Dr. Fleishman, an artist and writer, has been with TSC for one and a half years. He brings 23 years of workforce training experience having worked in colleges and universities in Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, and Texas. He and his wife see the Valley as their home for it resembles their native southern Arizona. “The mix here of Hispanics, Caucasian, African Americans is just like home. We appreciate the family-based culture and love the food. A border community with a strong Hispanic mix is a vibrant community” said Fleishman.
Fleishman said the answer to anybody who reaches out to TSC asking for assistance with training programs will always be yes. His confidence stems from TSC’s experienced faculty including President Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Kile, VP of instruction, who also come from a strong workforce training background. TSC also designed a shipfitter training program for AMFELS. “We know what it means to listen to a client and deliver programs quickly – it does not matter what the program is. We are TSC. There is nothing we can’t do” he said.