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

Showcase Map v2Sacramento, CA – State Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, employer leaders, and school district superintendents today announced their commitment to work together to make Linked Learning options available to students across the greater Sacramento region. Senator Steinberg also announced the availability of the $250 million Career Pathways Trust, which will provide new incentives for employers to partner with schools to prepare California’s future workforce for job-rich economic sectors.

“Linked Learning is transforming education, and transforming students’ lives by preparing them for college and careers,” Senator Steinberg said. “We want the Sacramento Region to become a Linked Learning hub of excellence, so that our young people, our employers and our economy reap the benefits. The Career Pathways Trust will make a major investment in regional school-business partnerships that create pathways to careers in California’s new economy.”

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 Sacramento region.

“There is no better investment that we can make for California’s future in jobs and job creation than to have an educated and skilled workforce that meets the job needs of the next century,” said James Beckwith, CEO of Five Star Bank, and incoming 2014 Board Chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. “If we want to create a successful future, we must approach the relationship between education and our economy as more than just a philanthropic ‘add-on’ for the business community–it must be considered a business imperative in our state. The employer community in our region is stepping up to be Linked Learning partners with our high schools. This is strategic workforce development.”

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.

“We applaud Senator Steinberg for having the vision and providing the leadership that led to the inclusion of the Career Pathways Trust in the state budget,” said Christopher Cabaldon, Executive Director of Linked Learning Alliance. “This will help stimulate the new partnerships between employers and schools that are critical to making Linked Learning available at scale across this region. We need employer partners to advise Linked Learning pathways, work with teachers to ensure instruction is aligned to the most up-to-date industry standards, and offer students real work experience through internships and other work-based learning opportunities.”

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. Sacramento has a strong base to start a regionally-focused Linked Learning strategy. Sacramento City Unified School District is well on its way to making Linked Learning options available to students district-wide. Elk Grove Unified’s strong network of California Partnership Academies and a number of districts in the CRANE Linked Learning Pilot Program consortium–notably Folsom Cordova Unified–with acclaimed Partnership Academies will make this pilot a model for other regions.

CRANE stands for “Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy,” and is a six-county regional partnership that includes Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yuba, Yolo, and Nevada counties. The consortium, comprising 21 school districts and county offices of education, was selected to participate in the state Linked Learning Pilot Program. It is led by the Sacramento County Office of Education through collaboration with NextEd, an employer-education partnership organization serving the six county capital regions. Sacramento City Unified and Elk Grove Unified school districts are also participants in the state Linked Learning Pilot Program.

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

The Sacramento region 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