GenerationGo! Gives Students ‘Opportunity for a Real Life’
San Bernardino, CA – Dale Marsden oversees one of the largest urban school districts in the United States, with 50,000 students – 90 percent of whom live in poverty. Breaking that cycle is why he and his team at the San Bernardino City Unified School District have launched one of the most aggressive career readiness programs in the county, with 51 pathways at schools throughout the district.
“This is the ticket for our kids. They’re highly motivated and know they have a real opportunity for a real life,” Marsden, the district superintendent, told more than 60 local leaders from business, government, economic development and workforce development on Wednesday during a tour of career pathway programs at three SBCUSD schools.
The tour was organized by the district and the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, which has launched the GenerationGo! Career Pathways initiative to support and enhance programs such as SBCUSD’s while helping to meet the employment needs of the region’s growing businesses.
GenerationGo! was piloted last year at Cajon High School in San Bernardino, with students completing 120 hours of clinical practice at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. The program has expanded this year, providing students access to a wide variety of work-based learning opportunities. Scaled up to all 33 school districts in the county, GenerationGo! could serve thousands of students each year.
Related Story – Generation Go! San Bernardino County Career Pathways Initiative
“This is extremely important to the entire region,” WDB Chairman Tony Myrell said while touring a medical pathway classroom at Curtis Middle School. “To see the work that’s happening here, and knowing the talent shortage that exists in the health care field, is incredibly exciting. People ask all the time, ‘how do we fill the workplace void.’ This is how we do it.” Getting businesses to actively participate in career-readiness programs is key to their success. To that end, Myrell and several WDB members offered to donate equipment, materials and personnel to the pathways they toured.
“I’ve got medical equipment I can donate. It’s really important that we have a direct role in helping these students get the skills they need,” said Myrell, president and owner of Premier Medical Transportation in Colton. WDB board member B.J. Patterson, president and founder of Pacific Mountain Logistics, said the impact of GenerationGo! will be profound and permanent.
“This is generation-changing,” Patterson said. “Many of these kids were stuck, but this is putting them on the right path.” WDB board member Anita Tuckerman, director of asset services at Stirling Development, said she was most impressed by the hands-on experience students are receiving through SBCUSD’s pathway program.
“Through Career Pathways, todays’ students have the opportunity to learn and produce tangible results, something that is often overlooked in this age of computers,” Tuckerman said.
About the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The WDB strives to strengthen the skills of the county’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources, which generate jobs and investment in line with the Countywide Vision.
The Workforce Development Board, through the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, offers a variety of programs designed to help youth and adults identify career pathways and get the appropriate training and skills. Programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provide eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, access to a variety of career and educational services designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences. In addition, the WDB operates San Bernardino County’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the county’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.
Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce.