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, opened to ninth graders on San Antonio’s Southside near the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in August 2018. It focuses on engineering, advanced manufacturing, global logistics, and power & energy, and will move to a standalone campus within the Southwest Independent School District as it welcomes its second class in August 2019. CAST STEM partners include Palo Alto College and 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.
A third campus, CAST Med, opened in Fall 2019 on the campus of Brooks in partnership with San Antonio ISD, and focuses on medicine, public health 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. UT Health is an anchor partner for CAST Med, with additional partners including Brooks, UTSA, Bexar County Medical Society, the Children's Hospital of San Antonio, The SAVE Clinic, Trinity University, San Antonio College and Mission Trail Baptist Hospital.
We saw a critical need in San Antonio to help graduates build skills and connections that will allow them to move seamlessly into high-demand jobs. The model benefits both the individual student and the economy as a whole."