Founded in 1971, Gulf Coast Trades Center (GCTC) is a leader in education, training, and job placement for adjudicated youth from across Texas. A majority of the youth served at GCTC are referred by the Texas Youth Commission, following a period of confinement in juvenile training schools, as a consequence for parole violations or as a direct placement following delinquency adjudication. The remainder are referred from courts across Texas.
The Raven School provides educational resources and the opportunity for youth to finish their high school education. GCTC provides a wide array of services and opportunities, including trades training, education via the GCTC charter school, job placement, life-skills training, comprehensive counseling, and aftercare.
GCTC offers training in a variety of vocation skills, including:
All students must complete 64 hours of training in career connections. Following their return to the community, youths are assigned a job developer who assists in locating employment for the youths. This resource is provided in every community across the state of Texas, depending on the area the youths are sent to after their time at GCTC.
Independent living skills are taught on an entire campus dedicated to such training, called the Independent Skills Learning Environment (ISLE) Campus. This gives students the opportunity to live in a less structured environment to learn the basic skills necessary for independent living. At the ISLE, students are taught:
Students transfer to the ISLE once they have achieved competencies at the main campus. In addition to life-skills training, students at the ISLE participate in paid work experience.
Follow-up data on program clients indicates considerable success among clients in obtaining GEDs and securing employment in a chosen occupational field. The data also suggests that the GCTC vocational program may also reduce incarceration and criminal activity among clients served.
American Youth Policy Forum: Promising program
Gulf Coast Trades Center
143 Forest Service Road, No. 233
New Waverly, TX 77358
Phone: (936) 344-6677
Web site: http://www.gctc.us/
American Youth Policy Forum. (2002). Less Cost, More Safety: Guiding Lights for Reform in Juvenile Justice. Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum.
Gulf Coast Trades Center (http://www.gctcw.org/).