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IT’S NOT YOUR PARENTS’ VOCATIONAL EDUCATION ANYMORE

By Ralf Swenson, Peter Ellsworth & Laura KohnJAN. 29, 2015

We invite San Diego employers to join forward-thinking businesses that are already helping to grow our own future workforce. Examples: Palomar Health has entered an unprecedented partnership with Del Lago Academy in Escondido. Rady Children’s Hospital has a thriving relationship with the health pathway at Hoover High School. Even smaller employers like Groovy Like a Movie, a local digital content producer, provide mentorships and project support to students in several media design pathways in San Diego. Advanced manufacturers, working in partnership with the East County EDC, provide intensive on-site experiences for students in the Grossmont School District. And Junior Achievement provided more than 3,000 job shadow experiences to local high school students last year, working with committed employer partners.

While this is a good start, we can do more. More experiences, more engagement, more partnerships, more 21st-century career and technical education — the kind that is good for all students, the kind that is cutting-edge, and the kind that is responsive to the needs of our own local economy.

Swenson is superintendent of Grossmont Union High School District. Ellsworth is president of Legler Benbough Foundation. Kohn is executive director of Education Synergy Alliance.