New Incentives for School and Business Partnerships Featured at Inland Empire Region Linked Learning Fall Showcase

Rancho Cucamonga, CA – State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, employer leaders, and school district superintendents from the Inland Empire today announced their commitment to work together to make Linked Learning options available to students region-wide. Senator Huff announced new incentives for employers to partner with schools to prepare California’s future workforce for job-rich economic sectors through a $250 million Career Pathways Trust included in the state budget.

“The Inland Empire’s commitment to Linked Learning is not just about an education program that works – it’s also an economic development strategy,” said Senator Bob Huff. “With Linked Learning, educators and businesses partner to address the skills gap that makes it so difficult for graduates to find jobs, and for businesses to find qualified employees. Linked Learning students are challenged with rigorous academics and get into the workplace to gain professional experience that prepares them for college and careers. Employers also benefit by helping to mold the next generation of employees so they are properly prepared when it comes time to hire. Regions like the Inland Empire that are working across district lines and with employer partners will be well positioned to benefit from the Career Pathway Trust.”

Linked Learning integrates college preparatory academics with rigorous technical training and work-based learning in career-themed pathways, including engineering, performing arts, health care, law and more. Linked Learning students see how what they are learning in school applies in the real world, and they gain the academic and professional skills needed to succeed in both college and in the workforce.

Linked Learning pathways coordinate with employers to align high school courses with California’s workforce demands, and to provide work-based learning opportunities that relate to students’ course of study. Growth in the number of partnerships between employers, high schools, and community colleges is needed to provide Linked Learning and related work-based learning options for students at scale in the Inland Empire.

“Linked Learning represents a catalyzing strategy to create a local, sustainable talent base to position our region with competitive advantage statewide and globally,” said Mike Gallo, president and CEO or Kelly Space and Technology. “The strength of our employer-educator coalitions will be a defining attribute of the Inland Empire economy and we must play an active role in shaping the future workforce.”

The California Department of Education is preparing a competitive application process to distribute the $250 million Career Pathways Trust, which will be released in 2014.

“Earlier this year Senator Huff and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg took the unprecedented step of leading some 30 state senators on a policy retreat ‘field trip’ to Long Beach to learn why that region is so successful at preparing students for college and careers,” said Christopher Cabaldon, Executive Director of Linked Learning Alliance. “The senators’ experience there inspired the creation of the $250 million Career Pathways Trust. Senator Huff was a critical leader in getting these resources in the state budget, and his commitment to improving students’ lives and the economy will have lasting impact in this region.”

Momentum is growing to expand the Linked Learning approach across California. In January, 63 school districts and county offices of education were selected to participate in a State Linked Learning Pilot Program.

The Inland Empire is extremely supportive of a regionally-focused Linked Learning strategy. The Alliance for Education, San Bernardino County’s partnership between businesses and education communities, and the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership are significant leaders in the work to make Linked Learning options available to students throughout the region.

The Linked Learning San Bernardino Consortium was selected by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to participate in the state Linked Learning Pilot Program. This consortium is a partnership of five school districts within San Bernardino County, led by the San Bernardino County Office of Education. The participating districts are: Chino Valley Unified School District, Colton Joint Unified School District, San Bernardino City, Upland Unified School District, and the Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified school districts. In Riverside County, the Palm Springs Unified School District was also selected to participate in the Linked Learning Pilot Program.

San Bernardino County has identified Linked Learning is the region’s high school strategy for achieving the County Wide Vision for all students to be successful known as the Cradle to Career Roadmap, which was adopted by San Bernardino County on October 10, 2013. Supporting career pathways is one of the signature initiatives of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.

Other regions that have significant number of districts participating in the Linked Learning pilot program include the Sacramento region, the South Central Valley, San Diego, the East Bay Area, Los Angeles, and the Central Coast.

The Inland Empire Linked Learning events are part of a statewide Fall Showcase of Linked Learning with events planned around the state to demonstrate how Linked Learning is succeeding, and stimulate engagement with the business community, which is needed to make Linked Learning available to all students in regions throughout California.

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See schedule below for additional events across the state.

Event Schedule

Each regional event will include a press conference featuring high-level Linked Learning champions and a site visit to a Linked Learning school. Below is a detailed agenda of event opportunities for press.

Schedule