New Program Will Expand Career Pathways Network
County of San Bernardino, CA – Career pathway programs, designed to help students and young adults throughout San Bernardino County prepare for opportunities in growth industries, will receive a boost under an innovative new effort that aligns education, training strategies, and supportive services.
The San Bernardino County Career Pathways Compact will provide a framework for a formal pathways network that will help youth attain the knowledge, skills and experience required for productive, sustainable careers.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors this week cleared the way for the county’s Workforce Development Board (WDB) to partner with school districts, colleges, and other community stakeholders to develop, expand, and support pathway programs. Among the goals of the Career Pathways Compact is assuring that graduating students are able to either enter their career field, gain acceptance into college or vocational program, or become a registered apprentice. Participating students are co-enrolled in community college and will earn college credits when they graduate.
Scaled up to all 33 school districts in the county, the program could serve 100,000 students each year.
“Career pathways are an integral component of our Countywide Vision and our commitment to economic prosperity by connecting businesses with a qualified workforce,” said Robert Lovingood, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Many of these students are being exposed to career opportunities they never imagined possible, and in the process are receiving hands-on training and certification they can use to obtain employment. It’s a win for them and for businesses in need of trained and qualified workers.”
Career pathways are a pillar of WDB’s GenerationGo!, a work-based learning initiative designed to ensure that youth throughout the county are ready to enter the workforce with the skills needed to compete today and for the future. Targeted industries include: healthcare, logistics/transportation, construction/engineering, automotive, and manufacturing.
Recently, 14 students from San Bernardino’s Cajon High School completed 120 hours of clinical practice in a GenerationGo! pilot program conducted in partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC). The students were introduced to a variety of career opportunities in the medical field while further propelling them along a valuable career path for college or technical training.
“The Career Pathways Compact allows us to build and expand on what we have started, providing the opportunity for every high school student in the county to be enrolled in and graduate from a formal pathway program,” said Tony Myrell, Chairman of the WDB. “Each of these students will have access to a wide variety of work-based learning opportunities, ensuring that we have a labor force to meet the needs of businesses in one of the most vibrant markets in the United States.”
The Compact initiative will operate under an initial investment of $1 million through a combination of county and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds. WDB is working to secure additional grant funding and private investment.
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.