Austin Community College (ACC) and Texas leaders joined together at The Promiseland Project Presents: The Skill-Up Festival at South by Southwest (SXSW) to dispel negative stigmas around skilled careers, elevate the value of a two-year education, and showcase ACC programs.
“You look around here and see all the different career pathways that are possible,” said Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “College is for everyone. There is a career for you. When you follow your passion and your love, you’re going to meet it and you’re going to be successful. At ACC, we’re building bridges to hope through career pathways through the use of education.”
More than 2,200 guests attended the two-day festival, which took place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, and Monday, March 11.
Dr. Rhodes joined Roy Spence, founder of The Promiseland Project, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and state Rep. Donna Howard on stage at America’s New Front Porch, across from the Austin Convention Center, during the kick-off event Sunday, March 10.
“We need to come together around issues such as an educated workforce pipeline that supports the demand for skilled trades,” said Rep. Howard. “Together, we can better prepare Texans for the jobs of today and the future.”
At the event, ACC showcased many of its programs through live, interactive demonstrations including welding technology, emergency medical services, biotechnology, building construction technology, software coding, culinary arts, and more.
“We’re on a mission to show young people that you can make a living and life doing what you love to do,” said Spence. “A four-year college path is not the only path to success.”
The event included live music featuring performances by ACC students, faculty, and staff as well as MamaDear, a Nashville, Tennessee-based band voted “Best Up-and-Comer” by Rolling Stone magazine.