Over one hundred employers and educators gathered at the Cimarron Country Club on Friday, June 29, to celebrate another successful Academic Leadership Alliance (A•L•A ) Externship initiative. You could feel the positive energy as educator externs shared their experiences acting as employees at local Rio Grande Valley businesses. Sixty A•L•A educator externs completed a three-week externship partnership with businesses across the Rio Grande Valley June 11-29. The goal of the A•L•A externship initiative is to give employers the opportunity to work with educators in an effort to better develop the future workforce that business and industry need. The experience helps educators develop a better understanding of “real-world” skills students need to succeed from an employer’s perspective. The educator externs reported to their assigned work sites for two weeks and were treated as actual employees of the company. The externs spent the third week developing lesson plans, which were then presented to employers for endorsement. The resulting lessons will be shared with students in the fall. The beauty of this initiative is that many educator-employer partnerships are started that continue throughout the school year. Participating school districts include: Brownsville ISD, Edinburg CISD, La Joya ISD, McAllen ISD, Mission CISD, PSJA ISD, and Sharyland ISD, plus Vanguard Academy. RGV LEAD coordinates the A•L•A partnership, and other guiding partners include the McAllen Economic Development Corporation, Region One Education Service Center, Workforce Solutions, Workforce Solutions Cameron, and Mission Economic Development Corporation.