Tampa magnet school gives students hands-on experience for jobs

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -- Among all the noise coming out of a welding shop students are learning a trade. Just a few classrooms away at Tampa Bay Tech Nathan Gonzalez is doing a different type of work.

"It's a magazine ad for an elderly community; 55 plus," says Gonzalez.

This senior takes part of just one of 18 career-focused programs at one of several magnet schools in Hillsborough County.

"It's like starting off on a job before actually getting into the workforce," says Gonzalez.

Magnet schools still allow students to be regular kids. They just have more focused electives . Parents wanting to get their students in; the time to apply is now.

"You're going to have right now at the middle schools, I have people who are going to those schools and recruiting the 8th graders for our 9th grade class next year. Right now, that should be in the parent's mind, thinking about where they want their student to go for high school," says Mike Ippolito, principal of TBT High.

With elementary and middle schools, choices are made through a lottery. In high school, the better the grades, the better chance of getting into a top choice.

These programs prepare students to get jobs after high school. Some of them could be earning as much as six figures a year after graduation. The motivation though is deeper than money.

"Kind of like being in the workforce where they say work is a family, that's exactly what we are," says Gonzalez.

If you want to know whether you're student is right for this magnet school or another magnet school out there, there is an expo happening on November 3rd that will bring all the magnet schools together. Get more information here.


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