A committee led by H-E-B executives and composed of industry leaders, school superintendents and workforce development experts from the Alamo Colleges, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County proposed the CAST model after studying innovative high school models across Texas and the nation.
In June of 2016, Charles Butt and H-E-B announced they would provide startup funds to develop the CAST Network and its first school, CAST Tech, in partnership with San Antonio ISD and Tech Bloc, a technology economy advocacy movement, as well as a core group of local employers. San Antonio College and UTSA rounded out the partners.
CAST Tech industry partners leveraged that initial contribution into a $15 million renovation of two old vocational buildings on the former Fox Tech High School campus into a modern, high-tech high school. In August 2017, CAST Tech High School opened its doors to a diverse freshman class of 150 students and will grow to 600 students at capacity.
The second campus, CAST STEM, is located on San Antonio’s South Side near the Toyota manufacturing plant. It focuses on engineering, advanced manufacturing, global logistics, and power & energy. The school is co-located within Southwest ISD’s Legacy High School and Palo Alto College, and also partners with Texas A&M-San Antonio for college credits and teacher and preparation. Industry partners include H-E-B, Toyota, HOLT CAT, Zachry, CPS Energy and more. CAST STEM’s first class of 150 ninth graders will enter in August 2018.
A third campus, CAST Med, is being developed on the campus of Brooks in partnership with San Antonio ISD, and will focus on medicine and biomedical research. One in six workers in San Antonio work in health care or biomedical sciences, making it the largest and one of the fastest-growing sectors in the local economy.