Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, East Bay Educators, Business Leaders Announce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

 Contact: Hilary McLean, Deputy Director, Linked Learning Alliance, 916-248-4848 hilary@linkedlearning.org

Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, East Bay Educators, Business Leaders Announce
New Incentives to Support School and Business Linked Learning Partnerships

 El Sobrante, CAState Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg today joined employer leaders and educators in the East Bay region to announce new incentives for employers to partner with high schools and community colleges to prepare California’s future workforce for job-rich economic sectors through the $250 million Career Pathways Trust that was championed by Senator Steinberg in the state budget.

“With the Career Pathways Trust, the state of California is putting up major capital toward preparing our young people for good work and prosperous lives,” said Senator Steinberg. “Through Linked Learning, students understand that what they’re learning is relevant to their futures, and why those academic and professional skills will help them succeed in both college and in the workforce. We need business partners to share their expertise, their workplaces, and their time with students and the schools and that prepare the future workforce. The Career Pathways Trust establishes a powerful incentive for meaningful partnerships between business and public education.”

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 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.

“One of the central tenets of a regional economic development strategy is to grow and retain local talent,” said Jennifer Ortega, California State Director of America’s Edge. “Rigorous and relevant education drives workforce readiness, and Linked Learning Pathways will position the business community to gain from a robust, dynamic pipeline of talent.”    

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. The most competitive applications will be regional in nature, and bring together high schools, community colleges and businesses to create career pathways that include a structured internship or apprenticeship for students.

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

School districts in the East Bay region that are participating in the State Linked Learning Pilot Program, or are part of a Linked Learning District Initiative supported by the James Irvine Foundation, include: Antioch Unified, Mt. Diablo Unified, Pittsburg Unified, San Lorenzo Unified, Oakland Unified, Vallejo City Unified, and West Contra Costa Unified school districts.

“The concentration of districts in the East Bay region that are committed to providing Linked Learning opportunities for students lends naturally to the development of an East Bay Linked Learning ‘hub of excellence,’” said Christopher Cabaldon, Executive Director of the Linked Learning Alliance. “Leaders from a range of industry sectors already work closely with Pathways in this region and provide valuable work-based learning opportunities for East Bay students. But, to make Linked Learning available at scale, many more such partnerships are needed. The Linked Learning Alliance applauds Senator Steinberg for including the Career Pathways Trust in the State Budget. This $250 million investment by the state of California will be a catalyst to regions, like the East Bay, to develop a regional Linked Learning strategy and create more opportunities that improve students’ futures.”

Other regions with significant number of districts participating in the Linked Learning pilot program include the Central Coast, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and the Southern Central Valley.

The Linked Learning events in the East Bay region are part of a statewide Fall Showcase of Linked Learning with events planned around the state to demonstrate how Linked Learning is succeeding, and to 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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